Ted Cruz backs AOC's call for a lifetime ban on lobbying by former Congressjerks

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/31/corrupt-practices.html


As much as I like the idea of this bill, would it pass Constitutional muster? After they’re out of office they’re no longer employees of the government and freedom of association is a right. From a practical point of view, I don’t see how this is any different than a non-compete agreement.


So you are saying that non-compete agreements are unConstitutional ?


Depending on the specifics of the agreement, yeah, I am. Some courts (most particularly California) don’t like 'em, and AFAICT, neither does most of Boing Boing.


So how much pork and how many wedge issues are going to be driven into to this bill? Place your bets!


Wake me after the rest of congress has avoided filling the bill with that junk and Mitch McConnell says he won’t block it.

Could this sort of employment be taken as introducing a conflict of interest into congress at large? Having these expert consultants is good business but it is also an unfair competitive advantage over the common citizen.


What are the chances that congress will pass a bill that limits their ability to individually rake in boatloads of cash?



So you think companies should be forced to hire inexperienced over experienced because an experienced person has an advantage over the inexperienced one? Or, a more specific example, hire a green salesman over someone with a rolodex of contacts?

The revolving door sucks and causes huge problems. How do we fix it without opening a bigger can of worms? I’d be more OK with saying that after being involved with lobbyists, you can’t run for an elected position or be appointed to a governmental position. That’s only a partial solution though, and I still can’t entirely convince myself it’s reasonable.

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This isn’t sales. This is national policy. Policy should not be a marketplace.

What can of worms does regulating how non-citizen organizations approach congress open?


You really think “We control what you do for the rest of your life after you leave the job” is a good precedent to set?

What are term limits?


Written into the Constitution.


You leave a job and they don’t rehire you. BFD.

What a strange alliance.


Accepting that the government is “competing” with private firms for influence of the law seems to be severely admitting defeat on democracy.
No, there should not be competition between elected officials and non-elected officials for control of the government


Depends if you are working for a rich person or not.

Maybe a compromise position is to create laws with teeth that severely punish elected officials who act on behalf of lobbies in exchange for high paying jobs later. Like complete forfeiture of all their assets, 20 years in prison, maybe some time in the pillory.

For Congress to average a 1000% pay increase on leaving office is a sign that things are broken and need fixing.


Oh, I absolutely agree it’s a problem.

But freedom of association and right to petition the government makes this pretty dangerous to regulate, if not impossible. I don’t think the government should say “you can’t hire this person” but should instead make it “we can’t ‘hire’ this person”.


So its a problem, but we shouldn’t do anything to fix it. Got it.

Your premise seems to be that working for a registered federal lobbying firm is more inherent of a constitutional right than running for public office. Its not like they can no longer vote, or engage in public political discourse. Its limiting work as/with federal registered lobbyists, something that in no way is a constitutional right at all. Not at all the same as stripping them of their constitutional right to petition the government


Where I work, we simply tell our vendors “If you hire an ex employee of ours within three years after leaving, we will not credential that person as a vendor rep.” This means they can’t visit our premises or do any marketing to any of our people.

It has worked fine for a number of years now without any legal challenges, in a state which is pretty litigious by nature. We’re not telling the employee where to work, nor are we telling employers who to hire, we’re just restricting who has access to our company.

I don’t see any reason why the AOC-Cruz Act could not be structured the same way.


At our public university, once a person has been at least a part-time employee they cannot be hired as a contractor for at least 3 years, they have to be rehired as an employee. And that’s just a labor policy.