11/21/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ex-Lawmakers Hand Campaign Cash To Lobbyists

USA Today reports that leftover campaign funds are being put to use for lobbying firms.

Ex-lawmakers who now work as lobbyists or advisers to lobbying firms have been handing over donations from their campaign funds to former congressional colleagues, according to a USA Today review of campaign-finance records.

The donations -- which are legal -- come from ex-lawmakers such as former Rep. Jim McCrery, who now advises clients on tax, trade and health-care issues at the lobbying firm Capitol Counsel. McCrery contributed $70,500 to political action committees and lawmakers during the first six months of 2009.

USA Today quoted McCrery on his contributions:

People in lobbying firms "are expected to give campaign contributions," said McCrery, a Louisiana Republican.

Having leftover campaign funds to donate, he said, "gives you a leg up to the extent that you don't have to take it out of your own income."

---Jenna Staul