"To paraphrase the late Rodney Dangerfield, lobbyists can’t get any respect. In public opinion polls, lobbyists can rank below lawyers as well as used-car salesmen.
The recent presidential campaigns capitalized on that sentiment, with each candidate declaring open season against lobbyists. The election is over but the assault continues. The president-elect has prohibited registered lobbyists from serving on transition teams that address areas in which a lobbyist has worked. As for lobbyists who aspire to a position in the new administration, no political appointee will be able to serve in an area in which he or she has lobbied in the prior 12 months.
While it is clear that lobbyists make good fodder in a political campaign, the election is now over. As someone who assists corporations and lobbyists in complying with the ever-increasing set of laws and regulations involving lobbying disclosure, gift restrictions, campaign contribution and fundraising requirements, I believe it may be a good time to ask, “What is wrong with lobbyists, anyway?”
To many, lobbyists represent all that is bad in Washington, and are credited with having created a “culture of corruption” in the nation’s capital. Long before the scandals involving Jack Abramoff and others began in 2007, lobbyists were routinely derided. Afterward, the demonization of lobbyists reached its historical zenith. In reality, however, those unfortunate incidents involved only a handful of criminals, including a small number of members of Congress, who were charged and in some instances tried and convicted under existing statutes."
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Thomas Spulak: What’s so bad about lobbyists, anyway?
(The Hill 1/14)