Lobbying Reform: Of Babies and Bath Water

As the boss noted below, he went down to the Hill yesterday to testify on lobbying reform, a brave move considering the mood these days. You’ll see his testimony below, similar to the testimony he gave before the Senate back in January. In all the media frenzy about trips to Australia, Scotland, Hawaii and other destinations, here’s a link to a piece we wrote in January, pointing out that we do trips all the time for Congressional staff. These are trips that have been pre-approved by the House and Senate ethics committees. We have taken them to such garden spots as Detroit (sorry, boss) Cleveland, Northern New Jersey and Houston, among others. As we like to say, anyone who’s been to both can tell you that Northern New Jersey — while the Cradle of Civilization — is no St. Andrews.

And so we caution the Congress once again not to throw the baby out with the bath water. We have taken staffs — both R’s and D’s — onto plant floors around the country. In almost every case, it’s been the first time they have ever been inside a manufacturing facility. Along the way, they see innovation first-hand and get to talk to the managers and the workers, and learn a faiar amount about manufacturing. Hard to tell that story sitting in an office.

This is a great and valuable learning experience and one we hope will not be banned in the name of “lobbying reform.”