Even For Embittered Ol' Me, Billy Tauzin's Corruption Is Stunning

In the political bloggysphere, there's been some discussion about former Congressman and Two Million Dollar Man Billy Tauzin losing his job as the top lobbyist for Big Pharma. I follow this stuff a lot more than most--my observation that much of what our great congressional solons do is geared towards their retirements, to me, seems so obvious that I'm surprised it received some minor circulation. But Tauzin's degeneracy is stunning (italics mine):

So in 2003 Mr. Tauzin, then chairman of the powerful energy and commerce committee, made a deal. Though still on a modest Congressional salary, he paid more than $1 million for a 1,500-acre ranch there. And he invited a dozen friends -- mostly executives and lobbyists with interests before his committee -- to cover its mortgage by paying him dues as members of a new hunting club. It did business as Cajun Creek L.L.C., based in the Baton Rouge office of a lobbyist who was a member.

Now, seven years later, Mr. Tauzin's friends say, it is to his Texas ranch that Mr. Tauzin, 66, will retreat, to contemplate the apparent collapse of the grandest in a career of fearless deals...

I'm not naive about these things--I expect a little 'honest graft', even if I don't approve of it. But to be so brazen about it, and, more importantly, for it to be fundamentally opposed to the basic welfare of one's constituents highlights just how little electoral outcomes matter to most congresscritters. When I read 'progressive' bloggers who keep wondering why Democrats keep pursuing poor electoral strategies, I wonder why they don't realize that many congressmen are not guided by elections, but by avarice.

More like this

Over the weekend, The Washington Post actually committed journalism with a report about the growing income and wealth gap in the U.S. To place it in historical context, they compared two CEOs, one from the 1970s and the current CEO. Here's the blast from the past (italics mine): It was the 1970s…
While Iraq was the national backdrop for the 2006 elections, individually many campaigns succeeded (or did better than they had any right to do) due to a desire to end corruption (e.g., the Ohio state elections). Yet Rahm Emanuel, head of the DCCC, and the Congressional Black Caucus ('CBC') just…
No, I'm not describing Joe Lieberman (although, hopefully, I will be). I'm talking about Tom DeLay. Says one of his former lobbyist friends (italics mine): A few lobbyists who helped raise money for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas)--all of them outside the inner circle of the former Majority Leader--say…
Jeanne Whalen of the Journal reports that European officials are taking a step towards allowing drug marketing: The European Commission proposed legislation Wednesday that would let drug companies give consumers "objective and nonpromotional" information about their medicines in print and online.…

Two words: Baton Rouge.

Okay, a few more - will he invite his bosom buddy David Duke for some sport shootin'? (If so, look for an uptick in the Texas & Louisiana missing-persons lists...)

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 16 Feb 2010 #permalink

It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside just to know that he will be much closer to his constituents then.

Thanks for the reporting!


But to be so brazen about it, and, more importantly, for it to be fundamentally opposed to the basic welfare of one's constituents highlights