As a member of Congress and as a candidate for U.S. Senate, Democrat Paul Hodes endeavored to appear as an outsider. He ran a strange television commercial against the backdrop of a hotdog-eating contest (yes, Paul, that’s what we regular people do on weekends – attend competitive eating events.) He fancied himself just plain ole’ Paul in a “barn coat” (he’s a trial lawyer from Concord.) And he flamboyantly proposed a new measure to impose a longer waiting period on former Members of Congress who want to become lobbyists.
“I believe our public servants should answer to the people, not the Wall Street banks, not the health insurance companies, not the big oil companies that are willing to pay millions of dollars for insider access,” Hodes said just eight months ago.
Hodes went so far as to say that the “lobbyists and special interests in Washington” are “corrupting our democracy.”
How does this jive with Hodes’ new venture, as reported by Karen Langley of the Concord Monitor on Sunday?
The former Congressman’s “company aims to connect northern New England to Washington, D.C., by providing ‘strategic advice and counseling’ to businesses and nonprofit organizations,” Langley reports.
Hodes is presently trying to determine if his venture requires him to register as a lobbyist. It seems fairly obvious that it does.
And what of all that talk during the 2010 election about forcing greater transparency on corporations that spend money to influence Washington, DC and political campaigns? That, too, was a hallmark of the Hodes for Senate campaign.
“It’s a business, consultancy, that often deals with confidential information. I think it’s important to keep our clients confidential,” Hodes now says of his new firm.
We aren’t surprised Mr. Hodes was retired from public life last year.But we are surprised some people take his rhetoric about someday running for office again seriously.