Monday, January 23, 2006

What's the Difference?

Just so somebody says it out loud. Lobbying is not bad. The practice of hiring someone to plead your case to lawmakers is an old and well-regarded one. Lobbyists often provide expertise and guidance in the making of law. Many of the groups who lobby are people just like us on the left or the right. The bulk of lobbyists do not break the law or wink at ethics laws. "Everybody" does not violate.
Let's look at some things that are bad.

The abdication of law-making to lobbyists is bad. Industries and single issue groups should not be handed the keys to our processes. Advisement is different. This is a different thing from lobbying.

Giving gifts for consideration is bad. Accepting gifts for consideration is bad. Establishing a quid pro quo system for consideration is very bad. It is possible to cross one line without crossing both lines.

Breaking the law to generate funds to influence elections is not bad. It is a felony. When you have lobbyists making statements of this sort on their company bios it can be very, very bad.

Jack is directly involved in the Republican party and conservative movement
leadership structures and is one of the leading fund raisers for the party and
its congressional candidates.

h/t to TPM

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