At Least He is Upfront About His Motives
Being a member of Congress is a pretty cushy job. First of all the pay is great, close to $200,000 a year. The fringe benefits are fantastic, the best health care government can buy, all expenses covered including travel, great pension plan etc. In fact once you are established you don’t even need to work close to 40 hours a week, and you can dine out on lobbyist money and fly on corporate jets.
So it is somewhat of a surprise that a sitting member of Congress in a safe seat would quit but members of Congress are not like the rest of us, they have far more greed and consider themselves underpaid even though they make many multiples of the income of their constituents. They also consider government service to be a way to service and further their own needs. So we have a member quitting to make even more money, and the surprise is only that the member would be upfront about it. But that is what Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D, Tx) is going to do.
Gonzalez, who sued the state over a redistricting plan that carved downtown out of his central San Antonio congressional district, said it was not reapportionment, but the need to provide financial stability for his family that's forcing him to seek a new career.
“I still find the job hugely rewarding, but the demands pull me somewhere else,” said Gonzalez, who will forego an eighth term in office.
Gosh, what can a 50 year old former member of Congress do? Let’s see, he can’t be a doctor, he can’t be a hedge fund manager, he can’t be an astronaut or a bunch of other things. Oh wait, he can sell influence and engage in lobbying.
Now to be fair, Mr. Gonzalez has not indicated that he will do that, but if he expects to make even more money for himself and his family, selling influence and engaging in lobbying is about the only opportunity out there. After all, didn't his voters send him to Washington so he could learn the ins and outs of influencing legislation, and now that he has that knowledge shouldn't he use it for his own good?
So if you need anything from the Congress and you have plenty of money to spread around, put Mr. Gonzalez in your rolodex. He’s expecting your call.
Thanks to Taegan Goddard!