August 19, 2006
An honorable profession
By Bill Kraus
Lobbyists, as a matter of fact and history, are an important part of legislating and governing.
What lobbyists bring to the process are information, expertise, and multiple points of view.
Their contributions are especially important on matters which are important but not publicly, universally prominent, below the radar as it were.
It should be no surprise that lobbyists are involved in the election process as well. They know who is likely to share their views (actually their clients’ views) on the matters that will come before them and which are important to their clients’ perceived interests.
As the election system became more about money and marketing and the candidates’ need for money escalated, they naturally turned to the people with the big bucks: the lobbyists’ clients.
Jack Abramoff is certainly no paragon of rectitude, but he diverted from the business of providing information to influence legislation to providing money to influence legislators.
What surprises me is these practitioners of a once honorable trade aren’t reacting to the fact that they have become bagmen in a corrupt system.
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