A Laugher: Tom Ridge Says, "I'm Not a Lobbyist" on Colbert Report

Tom Ridge's bookTom Ridge, on the Thursday, June 9 edition of the Colbert Report, claimed he is "not a lobbyist." A quick glance at his resume shows that nothing could be further from the truth.

Ridge, now 65 years-old, has worn multiple hats throughout his extensive political career.

Among them: first-ever head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Bush Administration from 2003-2005, former Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995-2001, and former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from from 1983-1995.

Upon leaving the DHS in 2005, Ridge started his career as a lobbyist, opening a lobby shop known as Ridge Global, located in Washington, D.C, which he still currently heads. Beyond this stint, though, Ridge is also a paid "consultant" (a.k.a. lobbyist) for the Marcellus Shale Coaltion, a "trade association" in disguise that in reality is a methane gas industry-funded lobbying group.

That aside, the Pennsylvania Department of State's lobbyist registry contains the real smoking gun evidence.

The registry shows that the Coalition has 11 lobbyists registered to advocate for fracking in the Marcellus Shale region, and in Pennsylvania in particular, among those listed include Coalition Executive Director Kathryn Klaber and Ridge. The registry also shows that their paychecks come from none other than Ridge Global. Open Secrets, a project of the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that since 2010, the Marcellus Shale Coalition has recieved $90,000 from Ridge Global. Open Secrets also shows that Ridge is currently a paid lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chairing their National Security Task Force. Furthermore, he is the current recipient of a $900,000/year paycheck from the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Yet though the evidence against his claim is quite damning, Ridge had the chutzpah to begin his June 9, 2011 interview on Stephen Colbert's Colbert Report by claiming he is "not a lobbyist."

Not a lobbyist? Yeah, right.