The lead item on the front page much of this afternoon
was a screaming headline, "COAL-HEARTED: Disgraced ex-Senator Larry Craig Resurfaces...To Lobby Against Coal-Mine Safety."
A new top story replaced Craig at about 4 p.m., but the story remains available.
Writes Dave Jamieson: "It's an issue that Craig's new client, Murray Energy, knows all too well. The largest privately held coal company in the nation, Murray Energy owned a subsidiary that ran the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, the site of a tragic cave-in incident that took the lives of six miners and later three rescuers. The cave-in occurred in August 2007, just weeks after Craig was arrested for allegedly soliciting sex in an airport bathroom."
What Huffington Post overlooks is that former members of Congress making money as lobbyists is not earthshaking news. Republican Craig, who served 28 years in Congress, is among four former Idaho members who lobby the federal government.
Craig's expertise includes energy and mining, having served on the relevant committees in both the House and Senate and been a stalwart advocate for both industries.
Craig registered as a lobbyist for Murray Energy in March, two months after the two-year cooling-off period that prohibits lobbying by former senators of members of Congress. Craig's former Chief of Staff Michael Ware is also lobbying for Murray. Craig and Ware operate the Washington, D.C.-based New West Strategies.
Former Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick is also lobbying, having been defeated last year. Minnick, who registered in May, is restricted to lobbying federal agencies and must wait until January 2013 before lobbying lawmakers. (The House has a one-year cooling-off period, a lower threshold than the Senate's).
Minnick's lobbying firm is called The Majority Group. His clients include Agri Beef Co., FCI Lender Services, G2 Energy, the National Potato Council and Property Liquidators.
Two other former Idaho lawmakers, GOP Sen. Steve Symms and Democratic Rep. Larry LaRocco also are longtime lobbyists.
For easy access to lobbying registrations, visit the Sunlight Foundation's website.
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