John Thune adds another angle to GOP ethics sleaze

South Dakota’s Senator John Thune, who was elected with the aid of male prostitute Jeff Gannon, has provided yet another example of just how ethically bankrupt the GOPers on the hill can be. It sures seems like he has a lot in common with his infamous campaign operative:

It might be said that Senator John Thune went through the revolving door — backward.

Former Lives of Members of Congress As a lobbyist in 2003 and 2004, Mr. Thune earned $220,000 from the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, a small but ambitious company in South Dakota. The railroad hopes to rebuild and rehabilitate 1,300 miles of track, the nation’s largest proposed railroad expansion in more than a century.

Now, as a junior senator from South Dakota, Mr. Thune is working to make that happen, raising questions about whether there should be curbs on lobbyists-turned-lawmakers in the same way that there are on those who take the more traditional route of leaving Capitol Hill for K Street.

Last year, his first in the Senate, Mr. Thune wrote language into a transportation bill expanding the pot of federal loan money for small railroads, enabling his former client to apply for $2.5 billion in government financing for its project. The loan has yet to be approved; Mr. Thune said he was trying to promote economic development in his home state.

Their callous disregard for impropriety really shows no bounds.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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