Lobbying has become a dirty word to many Americans. I know I find myself cursing lobbyists for the XL pipeline, the gun makers, coal, oil, and many others.
When it started it may have been a good thing. Today, not so much.
“The history of lobbying in the United States is a chronicle of the rise of paid advocacy generally by special interests seeking favor in lawmaking bodies such as the United States Congress. While lobbying has usually been understood as activity by paid professionals to try to influence key legislators and executives, it has been around since the early days of the Republic, and affects every level of government from local municipal authorities to the federal government in Washington. In the nineteenth century, lobbying was mostly conducted at the state level, but in the twentieth century, there has been a marked rise in activity, particularly at the federal level in the past thirty years. While lobbying has generally been marked by controversy, there have been numerous court rulings protecting lobbying as free speech.”
Really? Free speech?
Is lobbying free speech? Or is it legal bribery?
“In the Progressive Era from the 1880s to the 1920s, reformers frequently blamed lobbyists as corrupting politics.”
I think that lobbying has evolved to something the founders did not intend it to be.
“Lobbyists, who used to focus on persuading lawmakers after election, began to assist congresspersons with reelection fundraising, often via political action committees or PACs. A lobbyist for a cooperative of many businesses could form these relatively new types of organizations to supervise the distribution of monies to the campaigns of “favored members of Congress”.
Corporate PACs became prominent quickly until today when they could be described as ubiquitous. There have been reports that the influence of money, in general, has “transformed American politics”.“
My quotes are from the following http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_lobbying_in_the_United_States There is a lot more to read if you want to.
Lobbying for a good cause is fine with me. Lobbying by corporations and the military I feel is wrong. It would be okay if it was done without “legal bribes” Congressmen/women are wined and dined by these corporations just for their vote on a certain Bill that is helpful to the corporation.
“Congresspersons seeking reelection were able to win easily in most cases since rules regarding gerrymandering and franking privileges usually favored incumbents rather than challengers; several studies found that the probability of congresspersons winning reelection was consistently over 90%. Congress made the rules, including ones about free mailings. Congresspersons could give themselves generous pensions and benefits packages, and could determine the salaries of members; in 2006, salaries were $165,200.”
If lobbying were fair and honest a lobbyist would give a presentation to make his point and move on. No money or favors of any kind would come into it. That way every lobbyist would get a chance to make their case, no matter who is represented or how much money that entity has.
As with most of my posts, this is my opinion. We can discuss it and you might be able to sway me from how I feel. Don’t count on it though.