Now this is a good example of one pattern of conflicting interests, which seems to occur with great frequency among the post elected official crowd. It is not a partisan issue, it seems to occur in all parties.
Think about it. They collect salaries and benefits from the taxpayers, allegedly serving the taxpayers, and then they hire themselves out to foreign interests to help find a way to make more money benefitting those foreign countries, despots, business interests etc. sometimes at the inconvenience and expense of the very people they used to serve and their own country. It seems to me that this is all tied in with the corruption with plagues the defense contracting arena as well.
And one cannot place the blame on the foreign parties. They are doing what I am sure seems sensible to them – find someone who knows everyone, has connections and knows the political ropes and knows the way into the taxpayer’s pocketbooks. Our own citizens, particularly those who chose to serve the people in an elected or civil service role, should have a higher ethical standard of behavior than this, as a matter of principle.
This is another area that should be changed!
Hastert Contracted to Lobby for Turkey
Friday 10 April 2009
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) will represent the government of Turkey on many bi-lateral issues, including a resolution before the US Congress on the mass killing of Armenian citizens in Turkey during the 1900’s. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Turkish government has signed another prominent former congressional leader to join its K Street team.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and others at his firm, Dickstein Shapiro, are working on a $35,000-per-month contract for Turkey, according to records on file with the Justice Department.
Hastert was the longest-serving Republican House Speaker until he retired from his seat after the 2006 midterm elections. He joined Dickstein in June 2008.
The agreement is a subcontract between Hastert s firm and the Gephardt Group, founded by Richard Gephardt, the ex-Missouri congressman who was the Democratic House leader for several years. Gephardt and others at DLA Piper replaced the Livingston Group, longtime lobbyists for Turkey, as its Washington representatives last year.
In a Feb. 27 letter to Thomas O Donnell, Gephardt s former chief of staff and executive vice president at his firm, Dickstein partner Robert Mangas says he and Hastert will be principally involved in the representation of Turkey. Mangas says in the letter that the firm will serve as Turkey s counsel, in connection with the extension and strengthening of the Turkish-American relationship in several areas, such as trade, energy security and counterterrorism efforts.
Also working with Hastert and Mangas on the contract at Dickstein are Allison Shulman, a legislative specialist at the firm, and former Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), according to Justice Department records.
One issue Hastert and others lobbying for Turkey will have to deal with this year is a congressional resolution that defines the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in the early 1900s as genocide. The Turkish government opposes the resolution and has lobbied against it every time it has been introduced in Congress.
On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama explicitly said the killing was genocide. But on a recent trip to Turkey, President Obama only said he stood by those prior statements. He did not use the word genocide, angering some Armenian-American activists.
This Congress, the resolution to recognize the massacre as genocide was introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). So far, the bill has attracted 93 co-sponsors.
In October 2007, the same resolution was passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a contentious vote. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not end up allowing the bill to come to a vote as Turkish officials repeatedly said passing the resolution would threaten the nation’s alliance with the United States.
Hastert has also been involved in the debate over the genocide resolution. In 2000, the Illinois Republican, then House Speaker, took the measure off the voting schedule after being asked by President Bill Clinton to do so.