The revolving door of politics is the phenomenon that sees people elected to public office leave those positions at some point to become key lobbyists of some of the largest lobbying organizations in the US. This phenomenon shows that there is a clear divide between what the electorate thinks politics should be about and what elected officials think it is about. But such revolving doors are not the sole domain of the Federal Government. It happens on a state level as well.
NewsOK is reporting that former Senate Leader and Secretary of State Glenn Coffee has been appointed to head the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the largest pro-business lobbying organization in Oklahoma. The organization cites his business and legislative experience in appointing him to this position. What this means is that because he knows a lot of people in the legislature and in the capital, he will be able to convince more people to vote for legislation desired by the organization and its members.
While such changes of employment are not illegal, it does show the buddy buddy relationship between the legislature and special interests. While there are many in the state legislature who want to weaken that relationship for the better, the majority, and especially the leadership in the Legislature, refuse to make those necessary changes. Even a simple rule allowing for official recognition of a “no gift” list, a list of legislators who refuse lobbyists’ gifts, cannot even make it to a floor vote. Why would any legislator want to make that change when the greatest lobbyist’s gift is that of a cushy job upon retirement from elected office?