Not exactly a surprise, is it? This administration has set new records for greed and self-interest: WASHINGTON — Shortly after leaving his job as U
January 13, 2009

Not exactly a surprise, is it? This administration has set new records for greed and self-interest:

WASHINGTON — Shortly after leaving his job as U.S. energy secretary in early 2005, Spencer Abraham took a $60,000-a-year post as a director of Occidental Petroleum, which soon became the first firm in 20 years to ship oil to the U.S. from Libya.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge accepted director's fees and consulting work from several firms seeking contracts with his old agency.

Tommy Thompson, the former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has consulted, lobbied or worked as an employee for 42 companies since leaving office in January 2005.

All told, 17 of 24 former Bush Cabinet members have taken positions with at least 119 companies, including 65 firms that lobby the government and 40 that lobby the agencies they headed, a liberal-leaning watchdog group said in a report Monday.

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said that the group's six-month investigation "has shown that most of these former Bush administration officials have cannily leveraged their time spent in the public sector'' and "made a mint on the backs of American taxpayers."

"It may be legal, but it is certainly not honorable," she said.

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