Where Have You Gone Joe Lieberman?

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Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman was recently taken to task for changing his stance on lobbying, reports CommonDreams.org.  Lieberman promised that when he rejoined the ranks as a private citizen he would refrain from supporting a lobby.  However, it has been announced that the retired democrat/independent politician is now a registered lobbyist with the Chinese goliath of the telecom industry, ZTE.

Senator and presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren, publicly rebuked him last week commenting via Twitter “ZTE is a giant foreign telecom company that’s close with the Chinese government. 

They’ve violated serious U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea. Their lobbyists keep blocking accountability. And today former Senator Joe Lieberman joined them. Should that be legal? No.”  Warren went so far as to suggest that all former members of congress should be prohibited from working as lobbyists. 

Lieberman and his former Chief of Staff, Clarine Nardie Riddle, are both currently members of the Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm, which also represents Donald Trump.  In an email to the Center for Responsive Politics, Nardi Riddle denied that Lieberman is actually a lobbyist, saying, “Senator Lieberman is conducting a national security assessment investigation, where he will listen to congressional, executive branch, and customer national security concerns, but will not be attempting to influence them nor advocate on ZTE’s behalf.”

This statement is unlikely to satisfy Warren, who is sponsoring a Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act Bill  that would place a lifetime ban on former politicians, congresspeople, and federal agency chiefs. “Corruption in Washington isn’t about a single president or political party. It runs deep,” she said. “We should call it out—and we should pass my sweeping anti-corruption reforms to clamp down on all the ways giant companies drown government in money to get their way.”

January 14, 2019

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