Monday, July 31


Following is an anecdote that was related to me today by my company's Director of Public Affairs.

An issue critical to one of the key industries in which we are involved arose. The major trade organization for that industry contacted the lobbying firm of Alston & Bird, specifically Bob Dole (see last paragraph under "Retirement"), to inquire about acquiring their services to help in lobbying. Dole reportedly responded that, for $500,000 "you won't see Bob Dole walking the halls of Congress making the case," but for the money he'd make a few phone calls. We didn't hire them.

Do you draw from that the same things I do? What kind of system values a few phone calls at $500,000? What kind of access/influence does this indicate that ex-politicians have with current office holders? How can ordinary citizens or NGO's compete with that kind of influence when they have far fewer dollars to throw into the pot? And is the new culture "government for the highest bidder"? I don't care if the lobbyist is Republican OR Democrat, there's something seriously wrong with this picture.

And the Tom DeLay and "Duke" Cunningham scandals bedamned, I don't see any serious attempts resulting in comprehensive reform in our lobbying laws and regulations.



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