Byron Dorgan, Senator From Ethanol?


North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan announced yesterday that he would not seek reelection. What's he going to do with all that free time? According to a press release, he "would like to do some teaching and would also like to work on energy policy in the private sector." In other words, as Timothy Carney speculates, he'd like to cash out:

Perhaps Dorgan intends to go back to North Dakota and drill for oil or grow switchgrass, but far more likely it seems he wants to jump into the game of lobbying for subsidies and mandates for the hottest new renewable energy. The indications he will stay in DC are pretty strong:

His wife, Kimberly Dorgan, is a lobbyist for the American Council of Life Insurers, and the two share a 4-bedroom, 4-and-a-half bath home on a cul-de-sac in McLean, Virginia. And this is simply the way of Washington—lawmakers don't stop talking about their home state while they're here, but many of them never really plan on leaving the Beltway.

So here's my bet: Dorgan will be consulting for a cellulosic ethanol company in the DC area by the spring of 2011.

Anyone want to bet against him?

More from Reason on ethanol and other biofuel scams here, here, and here.

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  1. Dorgan is one of the real rat bastards that the growth of the information age has shinned a light on. Back in the day, he could tell his constituents one thing and then do something entirely different in the bowels of the Senate and no one would notice. Now, he can’t do that. Realizing the jig is up, he is cashing out and will spend the rest of his life counting his millions and hoping there isn’t a hell.

  2. Bart Simpson: Hey! I found a shortcut through your hedge maze.
    Groundskeeper Willy: Why you little…
    [thinking] No, no, go easy on the wee one. His father’s going to go crazy and chop ’em all into haggis!
    Bart Simpson: What’s haggis?
    Groundskeeper Willy: [gasps] Boy… you read my thoughts! You’ve got the Shinning.
    Bart Simpson: You mean “Shining”.
    Groundskeeper Willy: [sotto voce] Shh! You want to get sued? Now look, boy: if your Dad goes gaga, you just use that… Shin of yours to call me and I’ll come a running. But don’t be reading my mind between four and five. That’s Willy’s time!

  3. Perhaps Dorgan intends to go back to North Dakota and drill for oil or grow switchgrass hemp

  4. You can only do charity work for so long; then you have to make some money.

    1. Yeah, you can always tell the people doing charity work. They’re the ones in the 4-bedroom, 4-and-a-half bath homes in cul-de-sacs in McLean, Virginia.

  5. a 4-bedroom, 4-and-a-half bath home

    What does he need the extra half-bathroom for? Enquiring minds want to know.

    1. It’s in the back, for the “help”.

    2. For when you have 4 lobbyists over who are all showering after their meeting with you and you have to take a huge dump. Believe me, you appreciate that extra half bath then.

      1. So he makes the lobbyists shower separately, huh? Good to know we have at least one senator who’s not in the bath with special interests!

        1. They’re all so disgusted by what they’ve done that they have to get clean, right now, but can’t bear to look at each other. Kind of like after you and NutraSweet dress up in your Chip ‘n Dale costumes and get yiffy with a jar of Fluff and some sticks of unsalted butter.

          1. Coming soon to my nightmares…

            1. Episiarch has been trying for a while to muscle in on Sugarfree’s H&R commenter slashfic turf. But in that genre, as in many other things, no one does it quite like Sugarfree.

              1. I am but a simple wordsmith of filth.

                1. Or are you a filthsmith of words?

                  1. Why can’t I be both? Why do I have to fit into a neat little box?

                    1. Going both ways, huh? How unsurprising that you’d be willing to dress up as a filthy chipmunk or a wordy squirrel. No single costume for you, oh no.

                2. That’s filthsmith.

          2. We need some sort of Godwin’s Law for furries around here.

            1. Tell it to NutraSweet and Butthole Sweetley Johnson (that’s NutraSweet’s pillow name for him).

              1. But its your name he calls out in the throes of passion, Epi.

                1. Unsurprising; Warty says your grandmother does that too. I’m flattered.

                  1. Did you get “unsurprising” on your word-a-day toilet paper today by any chance?

    3. Some call it a trough.

    4. Excellent (sub)thread. Thanks, guys.

      1. Perhaps the only benefit to threaded comments is that one can judge how hot-and-heavy Epi and Suge are getting by the depth of the indent, and decide to skip or read as the mood strikes.

  6. Don’t we have a President who promised during the campaign that lawmakers wouldn’ be able to come back as lobbyists to the WH? Or was it that lobbyists wouldn’t be able to get a job in the WH? Not that either promise would be kept.

    I’m really confused, I think I need some hot tea and a nap.

  7. Don’t we have a President who promised

    Technically, yes.

  8. Mid 2011? No way.

    The true Senate scumbag, Trent Lott, quit the Senate before the ‘Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007’ would force him out of lobbying for two years as required.

    Dorgan will have to wait until 2013.

    Trent Lott now works for the Breaux Lott Lobbying Group.

    Lott was also one of the Singing Senators along with Ashcroft, Larry Craig and Jim Jeffords.

    Those were the days.

    1. Dorgan will have to wait until 2013.

      Suuuuuuure. I’m sure there’s no loopholes in that law (such as, the fact that your spouse is allowed to be a lobbyist even while you’re in Congress). Maybe his wife will hire him as a consultant.

      1. Dorgan will have to wait until 2013.

        To be a registered lobbyist, yes. To be a consultant or partner in a lobbying firm, no. This is what attorneys call “a distinction without a difference.”

      2. No confidence in the bona fides of our esteemed solons?

    2. He will take the same route as Dachle(sp?) and work for a lobbying firm but not as a lobbyist. Ergo sidestepping the ban.

  9. Isn’t this one of those times a libertarian should say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game?” Or at least don’t hate the player for this particular response to these particular incentives?

  10. mitch, most of us have room enough in our hearts to hate both player AND game.

    1. I can hate the players, the game, the incentives, and Michael Bay all at the same time. No problem.

      1. As long as you exclude Con Air from your hatred, I have no prob with that.

        1. I hate Con Air plenty, but that was Jerry Bruckheimer, not Bay.

          1. Silly me. In that case, continue with your unrestricted hatred.

            1. Con Air was a great piece of shit.

              1. Some people have no taste.

  11. I’d rather have him as a lobbyist than a voting Senator. Maybe somebody decent will replace him.

  12. How bad does North Dakota have to be before the DC suburbs look good? Well, maybe January is not the best time to find nice things to say about the Dakotas… But in general, they’d have to pay me millions to live in the DC area, too.

    1. But in general, they’d have to pay me millions to live in the DC area, too.

      Well, what do you think those DC scumbags are paid?

  13. No bet. When there is snake oil to sell, who better than someone with experience.

  14. So, what are the constitutional implications if we agitate for a law or amendment to require all Congressmen and Senators to be sequestered for their term in office (not allowed to go campaigning either), and only receive petitions for the redress of grievances through a publicly accessible message board.

    1. Pneumatic tubes.

  15. Looks like the teabaggers gave Dorgan and Dodd a mouth full of balls.

    1. Ew. Suddenly I’m designing the Tea Party logo in my head.

    2. True, but dont ask me touch the shaft.

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