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Trent Lott Resigns, Joins Hastert in Republican Leader Rush to Avoid New 2008 Lobbying Regulations

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Another Rat Jumps Ship; Trent Lott to Resign Senate Seat

New lobbying regulation laws that go into effect in 2008 could produce a rush of end of year resignations by Republicans dreading working in a congress with an ever greater Democratic Majority.

Lott, Senator from Mississippi and number two senator, will resign before the end of the year, sources report.

NBC news reports,

NBC News has learned that Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., the minority whip is in the midst of informing close allies that he plans to resign his senate seat before the end of the year. It's possible a formal announcement of his plans could take place as early as today.

Lott is the sixth senate Republican to announce his resignation this year. He has not yet given a reason, not even the standard GOP "desire to spend more time with family" explanation most commonly used by Bush appointees and Republican members of congress.

NBC speculates that Lott is resigning early to avoid restriction on lobbying by retiring legislators-- restrictions that go into effect starting next year that requires retiring senators to wait two years before becoming a highly paid lobbyist.

I'm guessing that's why Denny Hastert has also resigned before the end of the year. So, we have two legislators, resigning from their terms a year early, so they can jump right in to the really big bucks as lobbyists.

Politico reports,

Lott's departure opens up a position within Republican leadership, and there could be a fight to replace him. Lamar Alexander, who ran for the position last year, would be a natural candidate, but there are plenty of GOP up-and-comers who could compete for the slot, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who are part of the current leadership team and could be looking for a promotion to the no. 2 spot in the hierarchy.

His term expires in 2012; and a resignation would prompt a special election to fill the remainder of his term.

In 2006, he was reelected with 64 percent of the vote. This will be a tough one for Democrats to pick up.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) will name a successor to serve through the general election of 2008. Among the likely candidates to fill out Lott’s term are Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.) and former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore (D). Another possible GOP contender for the seat would be Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

Barbour will have to name a successor within 10 days of Lott’s official resignation.

When my former congressman, Jim Greenwood, retired, in 2004, he took a job as a lobbyist, paying over $800,000 a year. That laid the groundwork for Patrick Murphy to take a seat that would have been unassailable had Greenwood held on to it.

Now, Sen. Trent Lott has resigned, joining Denny Hastert in avoiding tougher 2008 lobbying Rules. My guess is that at least a few more high powered Republicans, not looking forward to an even weaker Republican minority in the house and senate come 2009, will be joining the rats who have already jumped ship. That will make it MUCH, MUCH easier for Democrats to capture seats that were held by incumbents.

The GOP is very short on money, and so they are recruiting wealthy candidates who can carry their own weight and pay their own way. The problem is, that kind of candidate does not usually win. Making a lot of money does not include the same skill set as campaigning and persuading voters to elect you.

The questions are, how many and which other Republican congressional leaders will decide it is time to jump ship early, so they can hitch a ride on the lobbyist gravy train a year earlier. Once 2008 rolls around, new laws will require legislators to wait two years, instead of the current one year before starting as a lobbyist. That could cost some of these Republican legislators a cool million or more dollars for that first year's work. And, as the new 2009 congress launches, with diminishing Republican influence, could even cost the Republicans job opportunities altogether. That said, there may be some Democratic resignations too. After all, the Democrats will probably have more say in funding.



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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)

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