''Maryland got the life sciences," former Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said about the government-driven boom in the D.C. suburbs, "and Virginia got the death sciences."
The Virginia congressman was referring to the military-industrial complex occupying Northern Virginia "Of course, NoVa, given the two wars, it's done even better than suburban Maryland."
Moran is now a death lobbyist. He lobbies on defense appropriations for Northrop Grumman, which makes bombers, death drones, and many other weapons technologies.
Moran had long been close with Northrop. In 2013, when the Pentagon wanted to cancel its order of more massive Northrop drones known as Global Hawks, Moran penned a letter to the Pentagon demanding they follow through with their order of three more Global Hawks. Also, the Center for Public Integrity reported:
Moran, who successfully urged Northrop Grumman to move its headquarters from Los Angeles to his district in Falls Church, Va., in 2011, confronted top Air Force officials at a May 9 hearing last year, insisting that their figures showing each aircraft operating at roughly the same $32,000 per hour cost was flawed and that the Global Hawk was cheaper to operate.
Now Northrop pays Moran.
The Center for Responsive Politics has a "Where Are They Now" story up today that leads with Moran's gripes that congressmen are not highly paid enough. But Moran's story shows how lucrative an experience it can be in the long run, when you're doling out taxpayer money to massive corporations for years.
Another military-industrial lobbyist recently in public service is former Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, the chief Republican champion of the Export-Import Bank, which mostly subsidizes Boeing, whose headquarters are in Chicago. CRP notes "Kirk has said that he's considering opening up a lobbying shop, and that he's 'already talked to Boeing.'"
More from CRP:
Several other lawmakers who left the Hill in January have joined Kirk in exploring their options on the other side of the revolving door. Former Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) is now with Capitol Counsel, former Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) is senior counsel at King and Spalding, former Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is co-chairman of Mercury (his clients include the American Chemistry Council, the Atlantic Development Group and Cabot Corp.) and former Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is "senior legislative advisor" at the same firm where Moran landed, McDermott, Will and Emery.
Then there's former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), who resigned in 2015 and is now a senior strategic advisor at lobbying powerhouse Squire Patton Boggs. He's also on the board of Reynolds American, the nation's second-largest tobacco company and producer of brands like Camel, Newport, Pall Mall and Kent. Boehner was big tobacco's prime recipient of campaign contributions in the 2014 cycle, the last one in which he ran for re-election; he received more than $130,000 from the industry then.
Timothy P. Carney, the Washington Examiner's commentary editor, can be contacted at email@example.com. His column appears Tuesday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.