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Response to RotorHead (Reply #106)

Sun May 23, 2021, 01:27 PM

112. You stumped me! I was going to say, "Just do whatever they do in Europe!" but then found out

they have lobbying in Europe, too.

But I did find this on the website Represent.us:

So, why don’t we just ban lobbying all together? Well, constitutionally, we can’t — and we shouldn’t have to.

Lobbying isn’t inherently evil. After all, a lobbyist is just a professional person hired to represent their client’s interests to an elected official. All kinds of groups, from major businesses to unions to nonprofits, pay for lobbyists.

The act of lobbying itself — that is, simply advocating a position to an elected official — is not the problem, and it’s actually protected by the First Amendment. Individuals and groups have every right to express their opinions to Congress about how proposed legislation might affect them and to try to convince lawmakers to take their side. The problem is that lobbyists routinely use money, favors, gifts, or lucrative job offers to do the convincing for them.

You can lobby, and you can donate to a politician. But you shouldn’t be allowed to do both.

Luckily, that’s something we can fix with a single law. The unseemly and terrible behavior we’ve covered in this piece may be legal now, but it doesn’t have to be. Reforms to ban lobbyists from coordinating fundraising, close the revolving door, and end “shadow lobbying” have already been proposed at the federal level, and they’re currently picking up momentum in cities and states around the country. As the anti-corruption movement grows, we get closer and closer to ending lobbyist corruption for good.


[link:https://represent.us/action/5-facts-lobbyists/|

But, as with all three items in my list, much easier said than done. It would take several back-to-back Democratic/Progressive presidents and Democrat/Progressive-controlled Congresses for major reforms to happen.

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