What’s a former congressman worth to a Fortune 1000 company?

By Laurie Bennett

September 2, 2012 at 12:05pm

Sixty-six Fortune 1000 companies have former members of Congress on their boards, according to a Muckety analysis of business filings.

The Muckety map above shows some of their interconnections. (It’s best viewed in a larger format.)

Three boards - CME Group, CSX and Entergy - have two former members:

Company Ex-members 2011 base director comp
CME Group Dan Glickman, Dennis Hastert $100,000
CSX John B. Breaux, J.C. Watts Jr. $240,052
Entergy Blanche Lincoln, Billy Tauzin $112,466

We count 12 former members of Congress who currently serve on two or more Fortune 1000 boards.

Dick Gephardt, a 14-term House member from Missouri who now heads the Gephardt Group consulting firm, serves on four.

Ex-member of Congress Total Companies
Richard A. Gephardt 4 Centene, CenturyLink, Ford Motor, United States Steel
William H. Gray III 3 Dell, Pfizer, Prudential Financial
Thomas J. Ridge 3 Brightpoint, Exelon, Hershey
Spencer Abraham 2 Genon Energy, Occidental Petroleum
Evan Bayh 2 Berry Plastics, Fifth Third Bancorp
William H. Frist 2 Select Medical Holdings, URS
Connie Mack III 2 Darden Restaurants, Mutual of America Life Insurance
John R. McKernan Jr. 2 BorgWarner, Education Management
Sam Nunn 2 Coca-Cola, General Electric
Lynn A. Schenk 2 Biogen Idec, Sempra Energy
John E. Sununu 2 Boston Scientific, Time Warner Cable
J.C. Watts Jr. 2 CSX, Dillard’s

Several bring additional experience and connections beyond Capitol Hill. Tom Ridge was homeland security chief and governor of Pennsylvania. Spencer Abraham was energy secretary. John McKernan was governor of Maine and is married to Sen. Olympia Snowe.

So, to answer our headline: What’s a former congressman worth to a Fortune 1000 company?

It depends on the congressman and the company, of course. Last year, Fortune 1000 companies paid Gephardt a total $862,112.

Yet Billy Tauzin, a nine-term congressman from Louisiana, far outdid Gephardt by heading a trade group that represents Fortune 1000 firms. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America paid him $11.6 million before he left in 2010.

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