Thursday, July 23, 2009

Camp Baucus, or Maxing Out Contributions

Diagram showing Max Baucus as he related to former staffers and their clients
You can't follow the Washington saga of health insurance reform without hearing the name of Max Baucus, D-Montana, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

What you may not know is that five, count 'em, five of Baucus's former staff members are now lobbying on the health care issue, including two of his former chiefs of staff. The Sunlight Foundation has a nifty bubble diagram (partially shown above, see the full diagram here) depicting how Max relates to his former staff, and how they in turn relate to their many health care industry clients.

That's outrageous enough. NPR, which did a story on the Sunshine Foundation diagram, also links to a scan of a flyer distributed by Baucus's political action committee, inviting one and all to "Camp Baucus" -- "a trip for the whole family" where you get to go fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking and golfing all for $2,500 per individual (or $5,000 for other PACs).

I wonder how common sleep-away-camps are among our Senators and Representatives? Everyone knows that politicians benefit from high-buck-per-plate dinners, so I'm not sure why the idea of Camp Baucus seems worse.

But it does.


Unemployed Dragon said...

DN3, thank you for all you're doing on the analysis of the health care reform effort. I'd been hoping to do something similar, but Life got in the way.

Nisha said...

Thanks so much for posting about Max Baucus' health care web.

It would be great if you could join our transparency bloggers google group ( This group is made up of bloggers who are investigating their elected officials at all levels.

I hope to see you there.

Nisha Thompson
Online Organizer
Sunlight Foundation