As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
After losing her seat, Hagan said in speeches that the biggest problem in America today is the dominance of big money, noting that the wealthy and special interests have come to control the political process through lobbyists and Super PACs. “We have got to get the obscene money out of politics, and I think that would change politics,” Hagan told the Rotary Club of Greensboro last year.
Akin Gump, one of the highest grossing lobbying firms in the country, is an odd perch for an avowed opponent of big money.
The firm lobbies for all kinds of corporate clients, including Amazon.com, AT&T, Boeing, Corrections Corporation of America, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, and Pfizer.
One of its top clients is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the lobbying group that aired campaign commercials that led to Hagan’s defeat over a year ago.
To be sure, like most influence peddlers in Washington, the firm is careful to cultivate relationships on both sides of the aisle. Lobbyists at Akin Gump serve as fundraisers for the Hillary Clinton campaign as well as for Jeb Bush’s Super PAC. As Hagan begins her new gig, she will be working alongside former Reps. Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., and Vic Fazio, D-Calif., two lawmakers who similarly became lobbyists after leaving public service.
Hagan is prohibited by law from lobbying her former Senate colleagues until 2017 — a law, notably, that has never been effectively enforced — but can advocate to the Obama administration and consult with clients.
In Congress, Hagan served on committees that oversaw banking and health care policy. In a statement released by Akin Gump, Hagan says she is looking forward to working with “top-tier teams in industries that are of great importance to me, including health care, banking and more. Coming here feels like a very natural fit.”