Montana Politics

Oh, Conrad

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An old crook never goes away:

Former senator Conrad Burns of Montana is the latest example showing the loophole in the new ethics and lobbying reforms that were enacted last month.

A few days after the legislation became law, Burns strolled into the weekly Wednesday meeting of Senate conservatives in the Mansfield Room just a few steps off the chamber floor. Asked what he was doing there, Burns smiled and announced, "Lunch."

After losing his re-election bid last year, Burns signed up to work with Gage. That’s a lobbying firm on Capitol Hill founded by his former staffers, where Burns is not considered a lobbyist but is an adviser to a host of the firm’s clients, most of whom have a connection to the Big Sky state. The former senator must observe a one-year cooling-off period– the new law will extend it to two years starting in January — before he can represent clients before his old colleagues.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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