POLITICS
01/04/2011 05:26 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Outgoing GOP Senator Joins Lobbying Law Firm

WASHINGTON -- Outgoing Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) is headed for a pay raise, announcing on Tuesday he'll be joining a high-profile law firm that lobbies on transportation issues. While in Congress, Bond served as ranking member on a subcommittee that doled out transportation funds. Now he is joining the St. Louis-based law firm Thompson Coburn as a partner.

"I joined this firm to be a lawyer, not to be a lobbyist," Bond told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday, pointing to ethics rules that ban former lawmakers from lobbying for two years after leaving the chamber. "I do not plan to be involved in lobbying Congress."

Still, the firm touted the two-term governor and four-term senator's time as a lawmaker when announcing the hire. "Senator Bond has been a tremendous friend of the business community during his forty years of public service, and combines both legal and policymaking expertise with a deep understanding of the issues of importance to our clients," Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue said in a press release.

The firm primarily lobbies within the transportation sector, including contracts with Los Angeles County Metro Transportation Authority, and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, a San Francisco-based transit project.

Bond will work on transportation, agriculture, biotechnology and international trade -- the same issues he focused on during his time as a lawmaker. Not only did Bond serve as ranking member on a subcommittee which allocates funds for transportation, during his time in the Senate Bond also funneled hundreds of millions of dollars back to his home state in earmarks.

"As a policymaker I worked to foster business growth and economic development and I will continue that work as a lawyer at Thompson Coburn," Bond said in a press release. "I look forward to continuing my commitment to the business community and the people of Missouri as an active member of the firm."

He is not the first former senator to join the firm, which employs more than 350 lawyers. Thomas Eagleton, a Democrat from Missouri, worked for Thompson Coburn after leaving the Senate in 1987.

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