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News Link • Revolving Door

For outgoing lawmakers, connections mean chance to cash in

• Brian Montopoli, Russ Choma / CBS News

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., easily won a tenth term to Congress in November. Less than a month later, she said she was stepping down for a better offer.

Emerson will become the president and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a lobbying group that represents more than 900 federally-subsidized, not-for-profit electric utilities. Emerson said in a statement that she was leaving Congress not "because I have lost my heart for service," but rather because the job offered "a new way to serve."

Since 1998, the NRECA has spent nearly $49 million on lobbying and has been one of the biggest overall donors to federal elections. It has been the top contributor to Emerson dating back to her start in Congress in 1996, having given her nearly $80,000 over that period

We don't know how much Emerson will be paid to run the lobbying group that has long supported her political career. But it's safe to assume that it will be a step up from the $174,000 she makes as a member of Congress: The group paid former CEO Glenn English - also a former member of Congress - $1.6 million, according to its tax filings.


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