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It Seems Like K-Street SNUBBED This Ex-Congressman

Former Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman just retired after serving 20 terms in Congress, but was apparently unable to convert that experience into a lucrative lobbying job on K Street.

Waxman was considered one of the most successful legislators in Congress, and authored key legislation including Obamacare and The Clean Air Act. But after marketing himself to large lobbying firms for a month, he announced last week he decided to take a job at his son’s four-man PR firm, Waxman Strategies.

A National Law Journal report suggests the move wasn’t really his choice. “[Waxman] is a prickly guy for everybody,” former congressman and now lobbyist Jim Walsh told The Journal.

As a congressman, Waxman successfully battled big industries, including the tobacco, coal and pharmaceutical industries. He wrote and circulated a business plan to Washington lobbying firms, thinking his extensive knowledge and experience would make him a good adviser.

But lobbyists told The Journal they weren’t sure he would fit into their corporate-defense culture.

Waxman said he voluntarily chose not to take a job on K Street, in part because he doesn’t want to compromise his values. “I wouldn’t want a firm to represent something I didn’t agree with,” he told The Journal. “There are many special interest groups that I often found myself opposed to in my congressional career.”

“It got be more of a morass than I had wanted to deal with,” he added.

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