Will Sen. Dorgan Disclose His Potential New Employers?

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When Byron Dorgan announced earlier this month that he is retiring from the Senate to pursue, among other things, work on energy policy in the private sector, I wondered whether the North Dakota Democrat would land a job in the coal industry. Now others are asking questions about Dorgan’s post-Senate plans.

PolluterWatch, a project of Greenpeace, sent a letter to Dorgan’s office on Wednesday asking for information on whether the senator has been actively seeking work in a particular sector. Dorgan will likely have to vote on some sort of climate and/or energy legislation before he retires, so it’s fair to inquire about what, if any, future employers he has been courting.

PolluterWatch also requested a list of energy lobbyists and their respective clients that Dorgan has had contact with about potential employment, as well as details of phone calls, emails, or meetings. And they ask him to pledge to “wait until after an energy bill is passed this year to engage in any further discussions about future employment with interests that lobby you.”

“I am sure that you would not allow future career prospects to influence your legislative judgment,” the group wrote.”However, by releasing your records and pledging to refrain from any employment discussions, you can avoid creating any perception to the contrary.”

Senate offices aren’t required by law to disclose this sort of information, so it’s unlikely that PolluterWatch will get a response any time soon. “We’re not accusing him of any malfeasance at this point,” PolluterWatch director Kert Davies told Mother Jones. “We’re just asking the question and asking for transparency.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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