Jackie Clegg Dodd making big bucks … since marrying Senator Dodd

Making work pay … Washington DC style. My guess is this isn’t what Hope n Change was talking about. The Courant does the digging.

Every day we see more and more why people will spend so much money for a job that pays so little. Today’s Hartford Courant reports that Dodd’s wife, Jackie Clegg has seen her income soar since marrying the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. No … nothing illegal here on its surface, and in fact that is the problem. As the Courant points out, appointing the spouses or relatives of high powered Congress people to corporate boards or high paying government jobs is a “time honored tradition.”

Since the low-profile family wedding on a rise above the Connecticut River in 1999, Jackie M. Clegg Dodd’s income has quadrupled to the mid-six-figure range. All of the increase is due to her appointment as a highly compensated member of multiple corporate boards of directors.

Clegg Dodd, a former legislative aide and senior federal Export-Import Bank officer, was compensated at a rate of about $500,000 a year in 2007 and 2008 from seats on five corporate boards, according to the most recent filings by the companies to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

What struck as I read through the article was not so much her appointments to the boards … which come after her marriage to Dodd, but her qualifications. She lists her consulting firm as one of her qualifications but there apparently is no record of any clients in recent years.

But Clegg Dodd’s consulting firm has neither clients nor a current business phone listing. “There are no clients now and there have been no clients for three and a half years,” she said, responding to written questions.

Her only other qualifications appear to be her time as a legislative staffer on the banking committee and vice president for congressional affairs for the Export-Import Bank. These are fine indeed, but I would question whether they qualify a person to be the board member who overseas audits.

Charles Elson, who directs the corporate governance program at the
“You are held to a very high standard,” Elson said. “Basically, if you are on an audit committee you better have been an accountant.”

Still the one quote in the article that stood out for me and merely served to affirm what I have believed for so long is this one:

“In Washington, offering employment to the spouses and family members of politicians is a time-honored, if not so honorable, tradition,” said Sheila Krumholz of the nonprofit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

It’s not illegal but perhaps as long as we are talking about tougher regulations on out of control greedy corporations these days, maybe now is the time for some tougher regulations on out of control “greedy” Congress people. Seems to me these folks, Dodd and the rest,  aren’t much different than the Wall Street executives they love to demonize. Washington insiders who game the system to their advantage. The difference of course is these folks have an affinity for spending our money and our children’s money while lining their pockets and presumably their children’s pockets as well. Come to think of it … maybe there isn’t a difference.

It just may be time for term limits. Now that’s a regulation you can count on.

8 replies
  1. Darlene
    Darlene says:

    It wasn't all that long ago that we heard about Michelle Obama's winfall of some $63K from the University of Chicago Hospitals for … well … nothing … right?  When is it that we are going to hold these people accountable for their riches on us?  It's one thing when the private sector offers a product for their riches, but what is our government offering us other than more debt?  How is all of this so different from the Madoff situation?  Oh, yeah thats right, Madoff deceived his investors.  And what would we call the deceptions of our Congress and Senate?  Oh, sorry … I forgot …. this falls under the Geithner excuse … it was an honest mistake.  Give me a break!

  2. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Funny, I was just thinking about term limits earlier today, thinking how corrupting it is to allow these Senators and Congress people to serve perennially.  But, what should these term limits be?  Two terms for a senator is 12 years….that's really too long, for many reasons.  One, from the senator's point of view, is it's a long time not having a regular job (hah!).  It might be hard to find normal work afterwards – although most seem to morph into "consulting" or lobbying  jobs without difficulty.  The other reason is that 12 years is more than enough time to get sucked into a corroded system.  I propose they change the terms to four or five years, and they can serve two terms.    After another four or five years out of office they can run again, provided they had stayed out of Washington.

    The term limits of Congressmen and women are not so much an issue because it's a two year term.  Maybe 5 terms maximum, just to be fair and balanced!

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    If Dodd is so damnably clever at taking advantage of the system, maybe he should channel a bit of that cleverness into doing his job correctly, i.e. not screwing up the banking system.

  4. Bill
    Bill says:

    “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” – Mark Twain

    True then – true now.

  5. Wayne SW
    Wayne SW says:

    it is so intriguing how a single layer in a waitress sandwhich can become a member of "several"  boards of directors.  Jackie must have a "special seasoning and be properly spread………"

  6. Dom Rosa
    Dom Rosa says:

    Chris and Jackie Clegg Dodd should be as frank as George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall who said: "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em."

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