Lobbyists

From a DNC email signed by Howard Dean:

I wanted to drop you a quick note about a major policy change here at the Democratic Party.

As we move toward the general election, the Democratic Party has to be the Party of ordinary Americans, not Washington lobbyists and special interests. So, as of this morning, if you’re a federal lobbyist, or if you control political action committee donations, we won’t be accepting your contribution.

This is an unprecedented move for a political party to make — one that has sent shockwaves through Washington and has turned the debate on clean campaigns upside down. We’ve unilaterally agreed to shut lobbyists out of the process, and are we’re relying on people just like you.

Of course the DNC wants my $20, $50, $100, or “whatever you can afford”. That’s fine, but I have to say, I don’t understand the obsession with lobbyists. Is the DNC against all lobbyists? To me the issue is, what are they lobbying for?

For example, if I give money to the Sierra Club and they lobby Congress for stronger environmental legislation. Is that bad? If I give money to FamiliesUSA so they can lobby for national healthcare, is that bad?

Clearly there are lobbyists I oppose. Big Pharma for example. But its not because they lobby; its because they lobby for private interests and against the public interest. That’s the issue.

The whole “defeat the lobbyists” campaign seems bogus to me.

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1 Comment

Filed under elections 08

One response to “Lobbyists

  1. donnafairy

    I agree. And some of this appears to a matter of semantics and definitions. What exactly is a federal lobbyist? I assume it is someone who is registered as such. But who qualifies under that definition? Similarly, how many people are included under the condition, “if you control political action committee donations”? It doesn’t say anything about not accepting PAC money. They just won’t take a donation from an individual who controls PAC money. So… if an individual donates her money to the PAC that she controls, it sounds like the DNC will still accept that PAC money… because it’s a donation from a PAC, not from an individual controlling a PAC. Again, it is difficult to know exactly who and what is covered by their statement.

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