If you follow Washington politics, something you've likely suspected can now be confirmed. According to a new analysis, most ex-staffers of U.S. representatives going lobbying worked for corporations.
The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit looking to make government more transparent, looked into where 378 ex-staffers off of House of Representative employment rolls who became lobbyists took their next job. A 41.5 percent plurality became, followed by 21.3 percent working for corporations and 19.1 percent working for a business or trade associations. "In other words, corporate America is capturing the lion’s share of former Hill staffers’ expertise," write the foundation. (Full breakdown below.)
Yes, there was only one single person who went to work for a labor union. Other bits of analysis from Sunlight: 60.5 percent of staffers-cum-lobbyists worked for Democratic congressmen, though this may largely be due to the many seats Dems lost during between 2009 and 2011, the time period examined. 32 percent of staffers lost their old jobs when their rep retired or lost his or her seat, so there'll always be a fresh stock of lobbying hires with Hill experience as long as incumbents aren't always reelected.
Overall, our main takeaway comes from Sunlight's Lee Drutman: "Generally, work in a lobbying firm offers individuals the opportunity to make the most money, though it also generally requires the most work." It's hard to blame these former staffers for working in the industry where their skills command them the highest salaries. Those who don't like the influence of lobbyists in Congress should probably look toward the congressmen themselves for only trying to pass ethics reform legislation last year that even Jack Abramoff calls toothless.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that 41.5 percent of all former representatives' staffers went into lobbying.