Former House lawmakers are banned from lobbying for a year after leaving office, but that doesn't mean they don't quickly find their way into the influence game. Former Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wa.) is now "coordinating lobbying" for a local shipbuilder, according to The Olympian newspaper.
What a lobbying coordinator does exactly, the paper doesn't say. But if I had to guess, it means Baird is helping to direct the company's government relations strategy without doing the shoe leather lobbying that triggers the reporting requirements. So he flexes his influence without violating the law. Pretty standard operating procedure these days for recently departed lawmakers turned lobbyists.
Jordan Schrader reports:
This summer, he returned to the world of government and politics, taking a job coordinating lobbying at Vigor Industrial, the Portland-based shipbuilder and government contractor. (Congressional rules prohibit Baird from directly lobbying his former colleagues until early next year.) ...He is working from home and from the former Todd Pacific, now Vigor, shipyard in Seattle. Vigor is upgrading a Coast Guard icebreaker and wants to make sure the guard doesn't scrap another of the vessels. And at the state level, Vigor's contract to build up to three ferries for Washington is contingent on future funding - likely in the form of transportation fees passed by the Legislature or voter-approved taxes.