Esteemed ‘Former Congressman’ Speaks Out

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Photo: Harry Hamburg/AP/Corbis

The Wall Street Journal has a news story today reporting that some moderate Democrats are concerned that President Obama's Inaugural address contained too much liberalism. Among those concerned about this liberalism is "former California Congressman" Dennis Cardoza:

"The reality is that in the few remaining swing districts we have left, you are going to be unable to get the moderates to go with you if you push the agenda too far to the left," said Dennis Cardoza, a former California congressman and a moderate Democrat. He said prioritizing the economy and immigration was the best course.

Kind of odd to see somebody quoted in the news and identified by his former occupation.

Cardoza suddenly retired last August, not even finishing out the last few months of his term, citing "increasing parenting challenges." Cardoza did not tell his hometown newspaper what his next job would be. Stay-at-home dad, maybe?

No! Turns out his next move, announced hours later in the Hill, was to accept a job at "Manatt, Phelps & Phillips," a Washington lobbying firm. You can review Manatt's extensive list of clients, but many of them, including those under "Energy & Natural Resources" and "Environmental & Toxic Torts," might have potential issues with, say, Obama's plans to crack down on carbon emissions. You never know. Possibly worth mentioning in a newspaper article citing his views.

The funny thing is that, in the several hours between Cardoza's surprise retirement announcement in his hometown newspaper and hanging out a shingle in a Washington newspaper read by prospective clients, Cardoza hinted to his former constituents that they needn't fret over his absence, since Cardoza's role wouldn't change: "I'm not leaving my service to the Valley," Cardoza said. "I'll just be doing it from a different venue."

Except his current job involves soliciting money from corporations and advocating their position, regardless of whether it serves the interests of his California constituents or the national good! That couldn't possibly be the same thing as the way Cardoza defined his "service" in Congress! Unless ...