Former Republican Rep Nick Zerwas, who resigned from office in December and immediately took a job in "government affairs" for a lobbying firm, has broken Minnesota House rules by registering as a lobbyist at the Capitol. A recent registration with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board shows Zerwas is officially a registered lobbyist.
Minnesota House Rule 9.35 has a ban on lobbying for one year. According to the rule, "former state legislators must not register as lobbyists within one year from the date they leave office." It's unlikely Zerwas will be held accountable since Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt also recently took a job with a DC lobbying firm.
Will this blatant disregard to the rules finally get members of the Old House Republican Caucus publicly condemning Zerwas? Up to this point there was a swampy tradition where legislators resign from office or don't seek re-election to go work for lobbying firms in their "public affairs" or "government affairs" divisions. Former Majority Leader Joyce Peppin did not seek re-election in 2018 because she was also taking on a new role in public affairs. However, Zerwas is the first to actually register as a lobbyist.
Even before Zerwas' registration, Rep Jim Nash, a fellow member of the Old House Republican Caucus, quickly took to twitter to joke about Zerwas' new lobbying gig. Nash tweeted, "so do I keep candy in my desk drawer in the SOB for meetings with you now?"; making fun of the newest legislator-turned-lobbyist scam at the Capitol.