Chairman Barney Frank Acts Decisively to Protect Against Revolving Door Abuses

For Immediate Release

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Chairman Barney Frank Acts Decisively to Protect Against Revolving Door Abuses

Statement of Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen

WASHINGTON - With the revolving door spinning out of control and legions of former
government officials and staffers trading on their government
connections and knowledge to win lucrative private sector jobs as
lobbyists, it is refreshing to see House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) act swiftly and decisively to stifle
this abuse by his former senior staffer, Peter Roberson.

Roberson was instrumental in drafting derivatives provisions of the
financial reform legislation that the House passed in December. When
Roberson made the legally required disclosure to Chairman Frank  that he
was negotiating employment as a lobbyist with a firm in the derivatives
industry, Chairman Frank removed Roberson from any further work on the
committee and denied Roberson any compensation beyond what he was
already owed. When Roberson left to join Intercontinental Exchange
(ICE), an operator of derivatives exchanges and clearinghouses, Chairman
Frank borrowed from President Obama’s rulebook and unilaterally banned
contacts between Roberson and the staff of the House Financial Services
Committee for as long as Frank remains chairman of the committee.
President Barack Obama imposed a similar ban on former executive branch
officials from ever lobbying the Obama administration.

Suddenly, the revolving door deal - in which Roberson cashes in on
his contacts in government and ICE hires an “insider” to peddle its
arguments on Capitol Hill - no longer seems so lucrative for either
party.

If more committee chairmen would follow Chairman Frank’s and
President Obama’s lead, they could make major inroads against the
cash-for-connections racket. They also would help counter the widespread
belief that service in Congress is becoming little more than a
resume-builder for aspiring corporate lobbyists.

Public Citizen applauds Chairman Frank’s actions.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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