Corruption: Seven Congressmen (Including Mark Begich) Who Joined Lobbying Firms Less Than a Month After Leaving Office

Less than a month after leaving office, at least five former House members and one U.S. senator are already on the payroll at firms that make millions lobbying their congressional colleagues. The findings, provided to Vocativ by the Center for Responsive Politics, a government watchdog group, also show that a second senator who left office at the beginning of January, Alaska’s Mark Begich, took the extra step of starting his own public affairs consulting firm, which has already secured clients in health care and aviation.

While Washington’s contentious revolving door spins in perpetuum—allowing a stream of money, influence and access to flow seamlessly between the private and public sectors—the speed with which these public servants have offered themselves up to big business may raise a few eyebrows . . .

By law, ex-House members are required to wait one year before they can officially lobby lawmakers on the Hill, while former senators must wait twice as long. Many, however, are able to work around those requirements at firms by signing on as consultants, counsel and strategic advisors, as a recent analysis by CRP and the Sunlight Foundation shows. That study’s conclusion: “The many loopholes limiting who can lobby whom in Washington and whether that lobbying must be disclosed to the public make a hunk of Swiss cheese look like the Berlin Wall.” (Read more about the congressmen who joined lobbying firms HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Mark Begich Concedes to Dan Sullivan in Alaska Senate Race

Photo Credit: AP / Ted S. Warren

Photo Credit: AP / Ted S. Warren

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich conceded his re-election race on Monday to Republican Dan Sullivan, bringing a delayed conclusion to the Alaska Senate race nearly two weeks after Election Day and almost one week after the Associated Press called the race for Sullivan.

Begich, a first-term U.S. senator and former Anchorage mayor, said he spoke with Sullivan on Monday and “encouraged him to adopt a bipartisan resolve in the Senate.

“Alaska is ill-served by the partisan fights that don’t reflect our state’s unique needs and priorities,” Begich said in a statement.

Read more from this story HERE.

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich Retracts Controversial Ad

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is retracting a television ad that an Alaska family said was exploiting a tragedy for political purposes, according to KTVA in Anchorage.

The controversy began Friday when Begich published a TV spot which blamed his opponent, former state attorney general Dan Sullivan, for reducing the sentence of Jerry Active, a 25-year-old man accused of murdering an Anchorage couple and sexually assaulting their 2-year-old granddaughter on May 25, 2013.

In a rebuttal ad, Sullivan vehemently denied Begich’s accusation, pointing out that he was not attorney general in Jan. 2009 when Active committed a series of crimes for which he should have been sentenced to at least eight years in prison.

Instead, a state database search failed to find that Active had a previous felony which would have triggered the minimum sentence.

The Begich-Sullivan volley angered the victims’ family. Bryon Collins, the family’s attorney, requested that both campaigns pull their ads and remove any references to the case. He said that the family feared that media spotlight on the case could potentially taint a jury pool when Active eventually goes to trial.

Read more from this story HERE.

Attorney Slams Begich Campaign For Refusing To Take Down ‘Offensive’ Ad

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

An attorney for the family of an Alaska couple murdered last year sent a scathing letter to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich claiming that his political ad using the couple’s case to attack Republican challenger Dan Sullivan is “inciting” the family and “tearing [it] apart.”

Bryon Collins, the family attorney, sent the letter, titled “Second Demand To Take Down All Case References And Ads,” to Begich on Monday.

“The family directly and without question has told your campaign they want no part of this,” Collins writes in the letter, obtained by The Daily Caller.

Collins was referring to an ad first aired by Begich’s campaign on Friday.

It refers to the case of Jerry Active, now 25, who allegedly murdered Touch Chea and Sorn Sreap, two elderly Cambodian-Americans, in Anchorage on May 25, 2013. Active is also accused of sexually assaulting their 2-year-old granddaughter.

Read more from this story HERE.


Photo Credit: REUTERS / Larry Downing

Photo Credit: REUTERS / Larry Downing

Alaska Senate Challenger Dan Sullivan Accuses Mark Begich Of Lying In Ad

Republican Alaska U.S. senate challenger Dan Sullivan is accusing Democratic incumbent Mark Begich of lying in a television ad blaming Sullivan for the early prison release of a man accused of murdering two elderly people and sexually assaulting their young granddaughter.

The case involves Jerry Active, 25, who was arrested for the May 25, 2013 murder of a couple in Anchorage and of sexually assaulting their 2-year-old granddaughter.

The Begich campaign is using Active’s heinous act to attack Sullivan for being soft on crime, though Sullivan completely disputes the claim and says that Begich is exploiting the case for political gain.

“I don’t know how long Dan Sullivan lived in Alaska, but I know what he did as attorney general,” said retired Anchorage police officer Bob Glen in the ad, approved by Begich and released ahead of Labor Day weekend.

“He let a lot of sex offenders get off with light sentences. One of them got out of prison and is now charged with breaking into that apartment building, murdering a senior couple and sexually assaulting their two year old granddaughter.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Miller: Begich Ad Willfully Distorting the Truth, Should be Pulled

10384039_878134048865141_7628186140099520827_nToday Joe Miller weighed in on Mark Begich’s latest attack on Dan Sullivan in which the junior senator uses a clip lifted from the KTVA Republican primary debate.

“Mark Begich’s ad is completely disingenuous,” said Miller. “My words were ripped out of context. This is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Washington politicians, willful distortion of the truth. To say nothing of the fact that Mark Begich is the poster-child for Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s dirty money. The ad needs to be pulled.”

The context of the Joe Miller quote was a general question posed by Alaska Dispatch reporter Nat Hertz during the KTVA/Alaska Dispatch debate regarding big outside money coming into Alaska in order to influence the outcome of the US Senate race.

“Joe was merely pointing out that Alaskans need to be discerning with respect to who is giving the money and what they hope to get in return for their investment,” said Miller Press Secretary Randy DeSoto. “Senator Begich is not only twisting Joe’s words, he’s being incredibly hypocritical, given he has taken millions from outside special interests.”

It should be clear to Alaskans that Mark Begich is playing the insider game. This is just more evidence that he’s been corrupted by Washington and needs to go.

Miller concluded, “Instead of spending his time misleading Alaskans, Mark Begich should be getting help for his spending addiction, or working to clean up the Obamacare mess he made by delivering the 60th and deciding vote for its passage. Alaskans might also appreciate it if he found the courage to stand up and oppose at least one of the President’s radical nominees. Then he might actually be a ‘thorn’ in Barack Obama’s backside.”

Miller Wins the KTVA/Alaska Dispatch Debate (+video)

10513419_859097640768782_7393880810506220822_n (1)Joe Miller showed once again why he is the best candidate to make the case against Mark Begich this fall.

Miller made clear he is ready to join Senators Cruz and Lee in challenging the status quo. On a question of whether he would support freezing new federal government regulations he said, “Of course I would. The question is whether we are going to have people of mettle willing to do that…We must seize the opportunity we have to join with senators like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz to actually reign in the federal government.”

Miller highlighted his stance against amnesty by bringing a copy of a pledge he asked both of his Republican opponents to sign last Friday. The pledge simply reads, “I will oppose any attempt by Congress or the President to grant amnesty (any pathway to citizenship) for illegal aliens.”

Miller handed a copy to Dan Sullivan, who has said he does not support amnesty, but refused to sign the pledge. Miller pointed out that Sullivan is backed by major proponents of amnesty, including Karl Rove’s Crossroads, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Mead Treadwell refused to sign it last week; he supports a pathway to citizenship.

During the debate, Miller told the audience to be wary of campaign rhetoric when evaluating how each candidate would likely vote as their next senator. He referenced a candidate comparison put together by his campaign with footnoted references. Regarding Treadwell he said, “Mead you have pretty much adopted every theme from my 2010 campaign. Your rhetoric certainly has not matched your past action. In fact, I am surprised today you haven’t shown up with a beard.”

U.S. News and World Report columnist David Cantanese tweeted, “@JoeWMiller is still pretty damn smooth in a debate.” We agree.

'The Record Speaks for Itself': Murkowski-Begich Tension Looms Over Senate Race

140723_lisa_murkowsk_mark_begich_gty_compy_328In Mark Begich’s view, fellow Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a valuable member of his “team” on issues ranging from fisheries to fighter jets.

But in the heat of Begich’s bruising reelection bid, Murkowski wants off that team…

When asked to characterize their relationship, Murkowski added: “He’s running for office, and I want a Republican partner.”

Begich brushed off Murkowski’s criticism.

“The record speaks for itself,” he said on Wednesday. “The votes that we have been taking are showing clearly that we’re one of the few delegations in this whole chaotic dysfunctional Washington, D.C., that actually vote together more often than anyone. That’s a fact.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Sick: Democrat Senators and RINO Murkowski Vote for Late-Term Abortion Up to Nine Months of Pregnancy


Four months before the mid-term congressional election, Senate Democrats are pushing into the national spotlight “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations.

Tobias was one of two non-congressional witnesses who testified against the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S. 1696), at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this morning.

Read more from this story HERE.

'Lessons' From this Election Season So Far

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Just past the midway point: It’s been 132 days (or about 4 months and two weeks) since the first primaries of the midterm season — March 4 in Texas — and there are 113 days to go until Election Day (about three months and three weeks). Just past the midway point, what have we learned from this midterm season? A few things:

3. The Democratic firewalls of Alaska and Arkansas: If you were to ask before this election season started which Democrats winning or losing could tell us what happens on election night — whether Republicans take back the Senate or not — most observers would have said to watch places like Louisiana and North Carolina. While it’s still true that Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan’s fates in those states, respectively, will tell us a lot about what happens on election night, few would have said the red-state Democratic Marks — Begich and Pryor — might be the plugs in the dams for Democrats. Begich and Pryor have looked surprisingly strong in states that at the presidential level have gone heavily Republican. If they win, it makes Republicans’ path to a majority much more difficult. Republicans acknowledge they are doing well so far, but most expect — because of those national trends and President Barack Obama’s struggling approval ratings — for that to change. Whether that trajectory does change may, in fact, hold the key to the election. Watch the polls after this summer…

Quote of the day: “I’ll be a thorn in his [posterior].” — Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat from Alaska, being edited by The Washington Post for language after telling the paper that part of his strategy for winning re-election is to separate, or perhaps attach himself, to President Obama.

Read more from this story HERE.

Why Mark Begich Still Hasn't Gotten a Vote On Any of His Amendments

Photo Credit: AP / Becky BohrerIt’s a sore point for the Alaska Democrat, who already faces a difficult re-election campaign in a conservative-leaning state. Republicans have already criticized it as a sign that he is ineffective, an argument he rejects.

Begich has his own party to blame. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has blocked amendment votes on most bills this year to prevent vulnerable members (including Begich) from having to weigh in on Republican proposals that could hurt their re-election chances, such as amendments on Obamacare or gun control…

In an interview, Begich said he is frustrated with the lack of amendment votes and has told Reid that he would prefer an open process even if it meant allowing Senate Republicans to force votes on politically motivated proposals.

But at the same time, Begich rebuffed his GOP critics, dismissing the significance of amendments as a means to judge his productivity and effectiveness.

Read more from this story HERE.