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April 12, 2011 - Bill Speer
Former area congressman Bart Stupak is headed back to Washington (See Associated Press story below).

Stupak announced this week he had accepted a lobbyist position with a D.C. law firm. I am not surprised. Many former legislators embark on similar paths after office and certainly Stupak not only had paid his dues to the D.C. culture with his years of service there, but also garnered a lot of attention and publicity last year for his abortion platform regarding the health care bill.

In an interview I had with Stupak before he left office in December, he did not rule out the possibility of someday returning to public office. In actuality, D.C. also is not an unusual springboard back to Michigan politics on either a national or state front, as many others have done it before as well.

In reality, D.C. affords Stupak close proximity still to all the "movers and shakers" he needs in his political endeavors, he can easily stay connected still with state issues, yet the distance keeps the spotlight off of him until he's ready again to have it turned back on.

Not bad, I guess, if you can afford the cost of living there.

(AP) — Ex-Michigan U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak has been named a partner at a top Washington lobbying and law firm.

The Democrat from Menominee played a key role in the passage of President Barack Obama's health care legislation. He didn't seek re-election in 2010.

Venable LLC announced Monday that Stupak will serve as a partner in its legislative and government affairs practice. Venable has a large stable of former lawmakers and government officials, including ex-Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana and ex-Transportation Secretary James Burnley.

Stupak served on the House's Energy and Commerce Committee during 18 years in Congress, chairing its subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

He's also serving as a fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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