While the Abramhoff scandal has everyone in a tizzy about reform (typical Washington overkill), the fact is that Lobbying, which I think is the 3rd oldest profession, isn't going anywhere.

"By LANCE GAY
Scripps Howard News Service
January 06, 2006

WASHINGTON - A new era of righteousness is dawning on Capitol Hill as the expanding Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal has lawmakers scrambling to come up with plans to curb Washington's lobbying excesses.

Cynics will find the "reforms" have all the sincerity of those "stop me before I kill again" bumper stickers. Topping the list of proposed reforms the GOP is floating are measures that would ban or limit lobbyist-paid gifts, junkets and meals. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants more disclosure of what lobbyists are doing, and to increase from one year to two years the "revolving door" prohibition against ex-lawmakers and their former staffers from engaging in lobbying.

Sweeping reforms that would change campaign finance laws to diminish the clout of lobbyists aren't in the cards. Lobbying is a $2.1 billion business and the number of Washington's army of lobbyists has more than doubled, from 16,000 in 2000 to more than 35,000 today.

About 250 former lawmakers or senior agency officials now work as lobbyists, according the Center for Public Integrity, and even former congressional press secretaries command salaries of more than $300,000 for going over to K Street lobbying shops with their prized contacts."


I personally like Newt Gingritch's idea of shifting fund raising away from Washington and back into the politicians home district/state, etc, and doing away totally with PAC fundraising and contributions.

While lobbys are not going away, we all can agree that the current "big money" somehow steals from "representation" for the little guy.

What say you?



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