318 ex-lawmakers are now lobbyists, report says

Washington is a seductive force, according to a new report that finds it has become routine for members of Congress to take jobs on K Street after retiring from public service — rather than returning to their home districts.

Political data-tracker PoliticalMoneyLine released a report yesterday that found there are 318 former members who now lobby former colleagues.

Several veterans of the 108th Congress are thriving on K Street. Former Rep. Jack Quinn, a popular upstate Republican, retired from the House and took a job as vice president of Cassidy & Associates. His wife has since moved down to Washington from the Buffalo suburbs that Quinn had traveled back to at the end of each week when he was in Congress.

In addition, Sen. John Breaux, a Louisiana Democrat, joined Patton Boggs upon retirement. His colleague Sen. Don Nickles, an Oklahoma Republican, started his own firm.

Rep. Billy Tauzin, the smooth-talking Louisiana Republican, spurned an offer from the Motion Picture Association of America to accept a post as head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Quinn told The Hill last year that the demands of being in Congress often require members to spend most of their time in Washington, which soon becomes a second home. And besides there’s nothing wrong with being a lobbyist: “I was never someone who thought ‘lobbyist’ was a dirty word,” he said.