The Washington Post

What some lawmakers-turned-lobbyists do with their campaign funds

The recent think tank focus on campaign funding has centered on the massive amount of dollars SuperPACs are attracting and the role of Citizens United, but a Thursday report from Washington Post colleague T.W. Farnam (“Ex-lawmaker lobbyists more likely to put leftover campaign money to political use”) shows what some lawmaker-turned-lobbyists are doing with what they have left in the coffers when they’re no longer in office.

Based on a study by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that tracked 57 U.S. House members who left office in 2007 and 2008, individuals who enter lobbying careers are much more likely to put surplus funds to political use.

For example, former House speaker Dennis Hastert:

Former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has given $275,650 to other lawmakers from his leadership PAC, including $18,000 to members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over one of his top clients, Lorillard Tobacco.

A spokeswoman for Hastert’s firm, Dickstein Shapiro, said he was not available for an interview.

Is this issue on any think tank agendas?

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.
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