Mark Begich is not in the Senate anymore, but he is keeping busy working on policy issues close to his, and his home state of Alaska's, heart.
“If you were traveling with us in rural Alaska this week you might not have differentiated it from work versus me being in the Senate — everything from photos and selfies, to presentations, to talking with folks on issues that are unrelated or concerns that they have about generally the government,” the Democrat told CQ Roll Call recently.
Begich started his own consulting firm, Northern Compass Group, which focuses on business development, tribal issues, aviation and travel, fisheries and housing.
He also consults for Brownstein Hyatt as a strategic policy adviser.
In case that wasn’t enough, the former mayor of Anchorage and son of the late Rep. Nick Begich, is on the leadership team at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice as vice president for policy and development and is president and CEO of the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare and the dean of NAHC's HomeCare University.
To keep up with the three organizations, he spends half his time in Washington, D.C., and half in Alaska. “I’m very busy and I love it,” Begich said.
“I'm keeping my fingers in the politics of Alaska,” he added. “There are a lot of issues that I will focus on at some point,” he continued, mentioning student loans, housing, energy and veterans.
“If I sat down and found one thing to work on, honestly I’d be bored,” Begich said.
So is he running for office anytime soon? “I’m going to always keep my options open with regard to public service. I don’t know what the future will hold; I’ll let that play out as it progresses,” the 53-year-old said.
In the meantime, “I’m going to continue to push my voice out there regarding national public policies.”
Being in the Senate was an “unbelievable experience and honor,” he said. On the flip side he does not miss the “crazy” Senate rules, traveling for 20 hours every weekend, or the schedule.
There is one person who might wish Begich was back on Senate time. On being home more often, Begich said, “I’m not sure my 12-year-old son loves it. I spend more time going to his soccer games,” and even worse, “I’ve threatened to chaperone one of his dances.”
But it all comes back to public service for him. “If you believe in public service, you shouldn’t limit yourself to, ‘Well, jeez, now I’m out of office, I can’t do anything,’” he said.
From the look of his schedule, nobody will accuse him of doing nothing for the time being.
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