Former Alabama Governor Turns to Lobbying, on Education

By Sean Cavanagh — August 12, 2011 1 min read
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There’s a long list of elected officials who have earned paychecks as lobbyists after leaving office. The list of those who become education lobbyists is a lot shorter.

But that’s the move that former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican who recently completed his second term, says he’s making. Riley, who was a vocal advocate of strengthening his traditionally low-performing state’s academic standards and spending more on schools, has told Alabama reporters that his lobbying will also focus on economic development—a focus reflected in his initial client list—as well as school issues.

“We’re going to be very active in trying to push education reform,” Riley told the Birmingham News, adding: “It was the greatest experience in the world to be governor of this state. But it did instill in me the recognition of the potential that this state has. I just want to help whenever I can to take us to that next level.”

In his paperwork filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission, no education organizations as of yet are listed as Riley’s clients, but a number of businesses are, including defense contractors and real estate and construction interests. One of them is EADS North America, a defense and aerospace giant based in Arlington, Va.

Our readers will recall that another high-profile public official with an interest in education issues went to work for EADS recently: former Louisiana state schools chief Paul Pastorek, who serves as the company’s chief counsel and corporate secretary.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.