Lobbying: We Question the Premise

By June 10, 2008General

From Jeff Birnbaum’s “K Street” column in The Washington Post:

Obama doesn’t permit any kind of federally registered lobbyists to give money to his campaign or to the Democratic National Committee. McCain has forced lobbyists to leave his staff and has required lobbyist volunteers to stay away from his offices and disclose their clients to the campaign.

Those kinds of actions and the candidates’ harsh words about lobbyists annoy Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

“All lobbyists are not the same,” he said. “While special interest lobbyists outnumber socially responsible lobbyists by a major factor, there are many lobbyists who do remarkable work for the public good.”

We submit that business lobbyists do remarkable work for the public good and that it is socially responsible to be an advocate for a competitive U.S. manufacturing economy.

To the posturing candidates, we also say that is also dangerously invidious to condemn people — lobbyists — for exercising First Amendment rights of free speech and petitioning the government for redress of grievances.

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