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Editorial: Feigned outrage over 'hardball' lobbying

"''Heavy-handed'' and ''counterproductive'' is what Miami-Dade legislators call the Miccosukee Indian tribe's traipsing through the capitol with a political rival of Rep. Juan Zapata in tow. Rep. Zapata last year thwarted a House bill that would have given the tribe more law-enforcement authority on their land.

But what are lobbyists paid to do if not pressure elected officials on behalf of their clients or employer? It is only because legislators so frequently yield to the hired guns that lobbyists have so much influence. Those perks -- the free plane rides, luxury seats at games, meals -- don't hurt lobbyists' causes, either.

If lawmakers want to discourage these lobbying tactics, the simplest way is to just say No, to the perks as well as the pressure."

Get the Story:
Hardball lobbying turns counterproductive (The Miami Herald 4/9)

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