Former Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., has accepted a position as chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America.
What does Dodd know about making movies? It’s probably safe to guess not much, but his position as a veteran Washington insider uniquely qualifies him to inherit the position of Hollywood’s top lobbyist at the pro-business trade association.
Just one year ago, Dodd downplayed speculation he would take on a lobbying position after stepping down as one of the Senate’s longest-serving members.
“No lobbying, no lobbying,” Dodd told CTMirror.com at the time.
While it isn’t uncommon for former lawmakers to take positions as Washington lobbyists upon retirement, Dodd’s comments make his decision curious, The Hill notes.
Former lawmakers are legally prohibited from registering as a federal lobbyist for two years after leaving office, but they can join firms without directly lobbying member of Congress.
Dodd retired from the Senate in January after spending three decades in the nation’s capital. The former senator’s hiring had been rumored for weeks.
He will reportedly collect a $1.2 million salary.
Dodd follows other Washington veterans in leading the Tinseltown trade association. In May 1966, former special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, Jack Valenti, took over the organization as MPAA president. During his tenure, Valenti introduced the movie ratings system to help parents decide which movies may be inappropriate for children.
After Valenti retired in 2004, former Kansas Congressman and President Bill Clinton’s U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman took the reigns.