The Associated Press reports that John Kerry pocketed over $150,000 in speech fees before the senate stopped allowing members to speak for money.
Back when federal lawmakers legally could be paid for speaking to outside groups, John Kerry collected more than $120,000 in fees from interests as diverse as big oil, tobacco, the liquor lobby and unions, records show.
I don't know, but the media's tendency to play gotcha with the leader in a crowded field must be tiresome to those with serious candidacies. I have little sympathy with Kerry; his two-faced stance on this issue left him ripe for abuse. however, if Dean were still in the lead (or Edwards or Clark), I doubt this would have been brought up.
A longtime federal election regulator said Kerry's extensive speaking efforts after he arrived in Washington followed a path taken by many new lawmakers who were not wealthy. With congressional salaries half what they are today, many lawmakers pressed to find outside income from special interests.
The only difference is that Kerry was wealthy, by any stretch of the imagination. His family was wealthy, and his first wife had an estimated net worth of over $300 million. (They were separated when he was elected, and divorced in 1988).