TLP: Barney Frank Spanks Staffer In Public!
How entertaining can Congress be? Just finished (maybe) with health care and moving on to whatever might be next — immigration, financial regulatory reform, an Easter egg hunt? — we get word that Congressman Barney Frank called out a House staffer for taking a job with a financial services company.
House Financial Services chief Barney Frank publicly denounced a House Financial Services Committee staffer for leaving to become a lobbyist.House staffers who leave government to lobby can't schmooze and rub their former House colleagues for a year. They have to go to the Senate for that, the rules say.
Peter Roberson played a key role in writing House financial overhaul legislation and will now lobby on behalf of a company that the legislation directly impacts. His new employer, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owns the largest clearinghouse of complex financial products, otherwise known as credit default swaps.
"When Mr. Roberson was hired, it never occurred to me that he would jump so quickly from the committee staff to an industry that was being affected by the committee's legislation," Frank said in a statement.
Intercontinental had no comment other than to confirm that Roberson began working as the company's vice president of government relations in February, said spokesman Lee Underwood.
Roberson worked on the House regulatory overhaul bill, which would require trades of credit default swaps to be more transparent and traded on clearinghouses, such as the one owned by Intercontinental.
Frank's public spanking of Roberson, tame as it was, (and who thinks Roberson didn't actually like it?) is what's unusual in this case. Maybe the message is that those high-paying lobbying gigs are supposed to be left open for congressmen and senators.