The son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert moved to Washington when his father became speaker and landed a lush lobbying contract for Google.
When Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, she promised to change things — to enact serious, and long overdue, ethical reforms — to stop the growing trend of legislators and their families accepting gifts, trips, and jobs from lobbyists and corporations.
Well, some things never change.
Several days ago, Newsmax.com disclosed that in February, shortly after his mother became the first woman speaker, Paul Pelosi Jr., was hired by InfoUSA for $180,000 a year as its vice president for Strategic Planning. Pelosi also kept his other full-time day job as a mortgage loan officer for Countrywide Loans in California. And, unlike all of the other InfoUSA employees, he did not report to work at the company's headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
InfoUSA is the same company that has been cited by the New York Times for creating marketing lists that were used by con artists to fleece vulnerable elderly people. The lists had provocative names and offered the names of elderly people with cancer, elderly people with Alzheimer's and gamblers over 55 years of age who think their luck will change. After purchasing the lists, the con artists would call and convince the elderly person that they had actually ordered an expensive item. Once they received the victim's financial information, they often emptied their bank accounts, leaving many people penniless. Some of InfoUSA's internal e-mails suggest that company employees were aware that several of the companies they sold the lists to were under investigation.
And InfoUSA is also the same company that Bill Clinton works for as a consultant, and for which the former president was paid $3.3 million over the past five years. In addition, the Clintons got $900,000 worth of free travel.
Pelosi insisted that the unusual job opportunity had nothing to do with his relationship with his famous and influential mother. He just sent in an application for a job and they hired him.
History seems to be repeating itself here. For the pa st several years, Josh Hastert, the son of former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert, was a registered lobbyist for Google. What were his qualifications for lobbying for such a huge and influential company? Well, to put it bluntly, he had good connections.
Before entering the world of corporate lobbying, Josh ran a music store in northern Illinois. But he decided that he could make more money and work less in Washington. And apparently, he was right.