Depressing article from the Washington Post on the rise of lobbyists.
The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled
since 2000 to more than 34,750 while the amount that lobbyists charge
their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent…The lobbying boom has been caused by three factors, experts say: rapid
growth in government, Republican control of both the White House and
Congress, and wide acceptance among corporations that they need to hire
professional lobbyists to secure their share of federal benefits…
Lobbying firms can’t hire people fast enough. Starting salaries have
risen to about $300,000 a year for the best-connected aides eager to
"move downtown" from Capitol Hill or the Bush administration. Once
considered a distasteful post-government vocation, big-bucks lobbying
is luring nearly half of all lawmakers who return to the private sector
when they leave Congress, according to a forthcoming study by Public
Citizen’s Congress Watch.
No doubt this will create more calls for reform but the truth is we will never get the money out of politics until we get the politics out of money.