Working for a Senator on his re-election campaign, what a great time to open a consulting firm?

If you're working for a Senator on his staff because he's going to be seeking re-election, it just comes off as an odd move to open up a consulting firm at the same time. Because it would give most people the impression that one was hedging their bets... From the Associated Press
Sen. Tim Johnson's new deputy chief of staff, Steve Jarding, is opening a
political consulting business in Virginia.

Jarding started his job in Johnson's Rapid City, S.D., office on Thursday,
and he says he will not be paid by the new firm, called Maverick Strategies
and Mail. He has also decided to take an extended leave from the new
political consulting business as it gets started, to avoid any appearance of
a conflict.

The South Dakota senator is recovering from a December brain hemorrhage, but
offered Jarding the job before he fell ill, according to Johnson's office.

The hire set off speculation that Jarding was brought in to eventually run
the South Dakota Democrat's 2008 re-election campaign. Jarding is a veteran
political consultant who served as a top strategist for James Webb, the
Virginia Democrat who upset Republican Sen. George Allen last November.

It is unclear whether Johnson will run for re-election because he is
expected to be in recovery for several months.
In my years of watching this stuff, I don't think I've ever seen anything such as this. But then again, we haven't had a Senator afflicted like this for decades, ever since Republican Karl Mundt.

It's not anything I'd raise a fuss about one way or another, but it just comes off as an odd move. I'm assuming Jarding was brought on for the re-election efforts. But it looks like he's also got one foot out the door at the same time everyone else is trying to give the impression that things are a "go" for a campaign.

This situation bears watching.


Anonymous said…

What's his reason for doing it?

polical forum
Anonymous said…
Jarding gets called out!

Here's the deal: Johnson's staff was so anxious to make it appear as if their boss was going to recover that they put Jarding on the payroll. This does two things: 1) Jarding get federal benefits and 2) It staves off challengers to TJ's reelection efforts if, and that a big if, he would recover. At this point insiders say he will recover but no soon enough or well enough to take on a campaign. Godspeed TJ.

Secondly, it's widely known in DC that Jarding has been courted by Obama's campaign and I wouldn't doubt seeing Obama signing on Maverick Strategies in the near future.

The good people of South Dakota want to know if the federal government employees working for them are committed to doing so or not.

At this time it appears that Jarding got caught and his explanation is that he is on a leave of absence. Many of us are not buying though because, and again, Jarding has been shopping himself around to Big D presidential camapaigns for sometime now, even after the announcement about him coming back to Rapid City.

And, one more thing, another dirtly little secret or ommission, Jarding is establishing Rapid City residency but word is that he is not moving from his home in the DC area.

Also, is this the kind of professional conduct expected of federal government employees who are serving SD constitutents?

All the more reason to suggest that TJ is not running, Jarding is mooching off the government, and Jarding is covering his bases b/c he knows TJ is probably not coming back to office.
Douglas said…
This is a test. I have not quite figured out how to post to blogger sites with new blogger.
What, you Republicans have a problem with the entrepreneurial spirit? (grin)
anneme said…
As long as he is not running the campaign while on the federal payroll there is nothing wrong with this. It has happened many times in the past on both sides of the political line. The person would take a leave of absence from the congressional office in order to work in the campaign office.
lee said…
Only a lib would refer to the bilking of federal government employment as "entrepreneurial."

This Mr. Epp at s.t.d. watch must surely be a member of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
Anonymous said…
Where's the "bilking," nitwit? The guy has taken a leave of absence from his consulting firm and is working for Johnson.
nonnie said…
This is so according to plan. While I wish Tim Johnson a complete recovery, the chances of that and his being able to campaign in two years in top form are probably not good. This is just being realistic. The Dems will drag this thing out, making everyone think that Johnson will be back (thus bringing Jarding aboard) to maintain their razor thin Senate majority. They can't take the chance that Rounds would appoint a Republican now, can they? But those closest to the scene itself (Jarding) know the truth and thus are looking out for their futures at the same time they are trying to protect the Dem majority in the Senate. It's all politics, and the people in SD are the loser without full representation/voting power.
Anonymous said…
Here here
Well said!
Anonymous said…
Nonnie sez:

"While I wish Tim Johnson a complete recovery,..."

And if you believe that, given the rest of her post, I've got some swamp land by Oacoma to sell ya.

Anonymous said…
Scavengers. Let the man recover. My goodness he has not even come close to using up his 12 weeks of medical leave that anyone else would receive with an employer bigger than 100 people. Most employers would hope for a speedy recovery and give even more time off. Give the guy a rest! I think that the vultures are swarming already. If not Tim, then I bet Stephanie will give anyone a run for their money. Don't get your hopes up RED!
nonnie said…
Anonymous 142: Just because I'm being realistic does NOT mean I don't wish Johnson a complete recovery. Two completely different things.

And resorting to name calling is a nice touch and shows your depth of thought, or lack of actually.
Anonymous said…
Jarding was hired before Sen. Johnson's condition occurred. The story going around in Rapid City is Jarding's wife wanted to be back in Rapid City, and the Jardings didn't want to raise their family on the East Coast.

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