For CBS' Follow the Money feature, Sharyl Attkisson introduced us to one of the newest lobbying firms inside-the-Beltway. Members of Congress, when they retire, are not allowed to spend leftover campaign funds on personal expenses, Attkisson explained, but they can use them for their personal business. When retired senators Trent Lott and John Breaux--the former a Mississippi Republican, the latter a Louisiana Democrat--hung up their lobbying shingle, Lott used $1.3m in unspent contributions as seed money. He "dipped into his campaign chest to donate money to former colleagues," two of them members of the Armed Services Committee, Sen Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS). At the same time Lott snared the business of Northrop Grumman, the aerospace firm, to lobby the committee to keep a $35bn USAF contract. "Lott would not agree to an interview but has said he is merely donating to Republicans he believes in, not trying to win favors."
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