Sen. Jim DeMint is jumping ship to think tank life, a sleepy-sounding academic world — but also very lucrative.
Top positions at influential nonprofits such as the Heritage Foundation can come with at least six-figure salaries, and in Heritage’s case, seven-figures. Based on most recent reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service, leaders of seven conservative groups drew in average annual salaries of about $520,000 in 2010.
Heritage’s outgoing president, Edwin Feulner, made $1,025,922 in 2010 and $989,634 in 2009, according to the foundation’s IRS reports.
American Enterprise Institute head Arthur Brooks earned $606,362 in 2010, the Cato Institute’s Ed Crane earned $488,257, and Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute made $244,886.Notice the use of the word "influential," in Politico. That shouldn't be considered a compliment by libertarians when a conservative/libertarian organization is named such by a the DC media. It means a beltarian view that is respected by insiders, crony capitalists, congressmen and other people who like to interfere in your daily life. And that explains the high salaries for those at the helm. They are a rare breed, supremely polished, they can talk the free market talk right down to the wire and ever so slightly move the wire into interventionist land--just to be reasonable, of course.
Here's more from Politico:
...offers for plush jobs for members of Congress and staffers will only increase, said Peter Metzger, vice chairman of CT Partners, a lobbyist and executive headhunter outfit.
“It’s going to be a trend if not an avalanche,” Metzger said...
Metzger said private corporations are going to start giving more money to nonprofits on both sides so that they can attract top government officials for executive positions.
He said with growing frustration among top leaders in the House and Senate, the thinking seems to be: “Get on the outside.”
Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a group that pushes for government transparency, also expects DeMint’s move to a think tank to become common practice for members of Congress.
“DeMint has a Rolodex that he is basically selling to Heritage,” Holman said. “I haven’t seen the revolving door abuse happen with nonprofit groups, but I do expect this to become more common as these front groups from the election like Crossroads GPS get more into lobbying activity.”
Based on Feulner’s salary and DeMint’s influence, Holman predicts he could be getting an annual salary close to $3 million from Heritage.
In 2010, DeMint’s net worth was valued between $16,000 and $65,000 by the Center for Responsive Politics based on the Senator’s personal financial disclosures. He earns an annual salary of $174,000 for serving in the Senate.