Access For Sale

Influence peddling can haunt

Political consulting is a seasonal business, with big money made during campaign years and much less during off years. Consultants who worked for the Reagan-Bush campaigns, however, have solved the cyclical nature of the game by merging it with the influence-peddling business. While most of those who sell access do so only after toiling for the Government at modest wages, these entrepreneurial consultants skip the public-service stopover and move directly from helping elect a politician to selling their ties to him for high fees.

When the time comes to get back into politics, however, selling access can have its downside, as...

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