Alabama's senior Senator Richard Shelby (R) takes great care of his former staffers... and their high paying clients too. CREW researchers found eight former Shelby staffers who have left his office to join or create lobbying firms and nearly $267 million in federal earmarks going to clients of former staffers since Fiscal Year 2008. In return, lobbying firms and clients have donated almost $1 million to his campaign committee and leadership PAC since 1999. Meanwhile, the lobbying firms employing former staffers of Sen. Shelby have collected over $10 million in lobbying fees from the former staffers' clients since 2007.
Unfortunately, as CREW uncovered in our previous Pork Parade project, this is business as usual in Washington. Too many members of Congress use the federal treasury as a personal checking account to support their friends, family and favorite donors.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said:
"Sen. Shelby, like Rep. Murtha before him, takes trading earmarks for campaign dollars to a level most members of Congress can only dream about. Like Murtha, Shelby earmarks for the benefit of his former staffers turned lobbyists. It seems pork barrel spending knows no party limits." Sloan also noted, "Ironically, Shelby has been quick to condemn the Obama administration for its spending. It's always the other guy who is wasting our hard-earned taxpayer dollars."
John Bresnahan and Manu Raju covered CREW's report in Politico:
"In a mix of revolving-door and campaign finance politics, the same organizations that have enjoyed Shelby's earmarks have seen their lobbyists and employees contribute nearly $1 million to Shelby's campaign and political action committee since 1999, according to federal records."
"Shelby, elected to the Senate in 1986, has long been one of the most prodigious earmarkers in Congress, and he's unapologetic about sending money back home."
Pork Parade - Richard Shelby