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Republicans who denounced corruption and pay-for-play in Raleigh are now racing to the trough.
Like locusts, newly minted lobbyists and would-be influence-peddlers are descending on Raleigh. They brag of their access to the new legislative leaders, and they promise to deliver anything and everything to their clients.
How many of them will still be standing once this session ends?
I’ve never lobbied. But I know lobbyists, and I’ve worked with a lot of them.
The good ones work hard. They’ve spent years learning how the legislature works. They’ve built relationships – on both sides of the aisle – based on respect. Democrat or Republican, they will survive this wave, too.
A few of the newbies will learn to swim – and stay in the pool. A lot of them will find out it’s tougher than they think, or they’ll fail to deliver on their promises, and they’ll be out of the business by next year. A few of them may get enmeshed in scandal.
This, too, shall pass.


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2 comments on “Cashing In

  1. dap916 says:

    Okay…so you’ve “worked with a lot of them”

    “They’ve built relationships – on both sides of the aisle – based on respect.”

    Sooooo, what is it you’re really saying, Gary. Lobbyists are somehow a good thing? Their work is a good thing? This is a “necessary evil”?

    What is it, actually, you’re saying here?

    Who truly believes that lobbyists…dem or repub…actually be who controls the legislative initiatives ?

    Such foolishness….but, it’s actually how it’s done in Raleigh, isn’t it? And…in large part, how it’s done in D.C.

    The electorate truly has zero say in what actually comes out of our state and national legislatures.

    Agree or disagree?

  2. Carbine says:

    “Lobbyists” do not and can not control the legislature. Only the members themselves can do that. The influence that “lobbyists” have on the members varies greatly from lobbyist to lobbyist, and from member to member. On most important issues there are lobbyists lined up on each side, and their influence often cancels each other out.

    It still all boils down to what each legislator decides to do on each issue, and for most of them the most important factor (indeed, often the deciding factor) is how the voters back home are going to react to what they’ve done.

    So the electorate still has a lot of say in what happens. It’s just that they don’t have TOTAL say. And on some very important issues public opinion is often less a factor than the promises of support lobbyists can make on behalf of the interests they represent. And before any lobbyist out there goes ballistic over that last statement, yes I know that stating a “quid pro quo” for political support in exchange for a particular vote on a bill is illegal. But we all know which organizations wield influence with the electorate at election time and which ones contribute (and how much) to candidates, so unless legislators are terminally stupid they’re pretty clear on what the stakes are when a lobbyist for one of those interests asks for their support on a bill.

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