Hold on to your seats: three out of four of the 600+ registered oil and gas lobbyists (“more than 430“) first worked in the federal government, according to a Washington Post analysis.

And yes this is worse than the normal Washington DC revolving door. According to a 2009 analysis by The Center for Responsive Politics, only one-in-three registered lobbyists previously worked for the federal government (elected or appointed).

I’m using the phrase “registered lobbyist” on purpose. Lobbying occurs indirectly when a Congress critter goes to work for a law firm that has a lobbying business, but the newly privatized legislator’s influence is indirect, ie he or she works with the registered lobbyists who do the lobbying equivalent of “go forth and multiply.”

In the case of Big Oil, the WaPo writes:

Key lobbying hires include 18 former members of Congress and dozens of former presidential appointees. For other senior management positions, the industry employs two former directors of the Minerals Management Service, the since-renamed agency that regulates the industry, and several top officials from the Bush White House. Federal inspectors once assigned to monitor oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico have landed jobs with the companies they regulated.

[…]

BP alone has hired at least 31 internal and external lobbyists with government experience, records show.

And no, the list is not overwhelmingly partisan: only “[a]bout 55 percent of the revolving-door lobbyists with clear partisan affiliations have worked for Republicans.”

The WaPo does not name many names — I have no idea why NOT. It’s the secrecy that makes this possible. Here are some former Congress Critters from a related graphic:

  1. Bill Archer (1928) – R – TX 7th District, 1971-2001
  2. Jim Blanchard (1942) – D – MI 18th District, 1975-1983
  3. Thomas J. Bliley Jr (1932) – R – VA 3rd and 7th Districts, 1981-2001
  4. John Breaux (1944) – D – LA, Senate, 1987-2005, and House 7th District, 1972-1987
  5. Bill Brewster (1941) – R – OK 3rd District, 1984-1991, 1993-1995
  6. Vic Fazio (1942) – D – CA 3rd and 4th Districts, 1966-1975
  7. Martin Frost (1942) – D – TX 24th District, 1979-2005
  8. George J. Hochbrueckner (1938) – D – NY 1st District, 1987-1995
  9. J. Bennett Johnston (1932) – D – LA Senate, 1973-1997
  10. Trent Lott (1941) – R – MS Senate, 1989-2007, and House 5th District, 1973-1989
  11. Jim McCrery (1949) – R – LA 4th District, 1988-2009
  12. Don Nickles (1948) – R – OK Senate, 1981-2005
  13. Chip Pickering (1963) – R – MS 3rd District, 1996-2009
  14. Ronnie Shows (1947) – D – MS 4th District, 1998-2003
  15. Jim Slattery (1948) – D – KS 2nd District, 1983-1995
  16. Charles W. Stenholm (1938) – D – TX 17th District, 1978-2005
  17. Jim Turner (1946) – D – TX 2nd District, 1997-2005
  18. JC Watts Jr (1957) – R – OK 4th District, 1995-2003
KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst
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