(WAFB) - Senator John Kennedy boasted the disclosure of over $3.1 million dollars paid to lobbyists with criminal histories, revealed through legislation he sponsored.
“This idea is simple: If you have been convicted of a felony like bribery, extortion, embezzlement or tax evasion, you should have to disclose that when registering to become a lobbyist,” said Kennedy in a 2018 statement about his Justice Against Corruption on K Street (JACK) Act. “Corrupt lobbyists need to be brought into the sunlight, even if they’re wearing $6,000 suits. Political leaders and businesses need to know the backgrounds of those who are trying to influence public policy. These corrupt lobbyists are the worst kind of swamp creatures and they need a one-way ticket out of Washington.”
Kennedy says the bill’s title refers to Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist who was convicted of tax fraud and bribery and later re-registered as a federal lobbyist in 2017. Abramoff did not have to include his criminal history on his registration.
President Trump the act into law in January of 2019.
Using the database linked here, members of the public can find out how much money is paid to lobbyists convicted of crimes like bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, and money laundering.