Making bribery illegal
America's problem isn't that corrupt politicians evade the law. It's that corruption is 100% legal.
Right now, it's perfectly legal for a corporation to approach a Representative behind closed doors and offer them high-paying jobs for after they leave office. There's another word for these advance job offers: legal bribes.
There are two ways of dealing with this. I would like your feedback on which option you believe is better.
Option 1: An outright ban on accepting job offers until 6 weeks before leaving office
After losing an election, Members of Congress currently have around 6 weeks to find gainful employment. That is much more notice than an at-will employee would normally receive. If in 6 weeks a former Member of Congress cannot find employment, I would be in support of policies that kept paying members of Congress for up to six months after leaving office until they find a job.
Congressional representatives should not be using their positions of power to negotiate higher salaries while in office. This legislation would keep them uncompromised while writing legislation, while giving them ample time to find a new occupation after leaving office to provide for their families.
No matter how virtuous the politician, receiving job offers from the corporations you're supposed to regulate is a massive conflict of interest. This eliminates the temptation to write compromised bills, and helps us attract politicians who are servants of the people, not corporations.
Option 2: Transparency laws surrounding advance job offers
Members of Congress are certainly entitled to take care of their families. They should be able to accept job offers after they leave office. But while they are in positions of power, that process should be open, transparent, and carefully monitored by the House Ethics Committee.
I would be open to laws mandating full transparency surrounding future job offers with careful oversight from American voters and an independent third party.