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Loophole allows Republican former one-term Kansas Congressman to work in DC lobbying gig after voter fraud arrest

Republican former Kansas Congressman Steve Watkins, first elected to the House in 2018 and then defeated in the 2020 primary after he was caught voting in the wrong district in a 2019 Topeka municipal election and lied about it to a Shawnee County detective in an interview, is still working on Capitol Hill despite having admitted guilt for the crime, the Kansas City Star reports.

The loophole? Registering as a lobbyist in DC requires applicants to check a box on a form that they haven’t been convicted of “bribery, extortion, embezzlement, an illegal kickback, tax evasion, fraud, a conflict of interest, making a false statement, perjury, or money laundering,” and Watkins, the smooth operator he is, only admitted guilt in a pre-trial diversion agreement, leaving him free to collect a paycheck representing moneyed interests to his former colleagues.

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