Lobbying the government to “redress grievances” is a right protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. That hasn’t stopped reformers of all stripes from trying to limit it or even make it illegal.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is on a holy quest to remake government. And if a few constitutional rights have to be thrown under the bus in the process, well, that’s the price we pay for socialism.
Except Warren, like many leftists, rarely practices what she preaches.
Warren unveiled an anti-corruption plan Monday that would introduce a “cooling off” period for lobbyists before they can serve in government roles and would prohibit active lobbyists from donating to political campaigns, a practice Warren called “legalized bribery.”
“The fundamental promise of our democracy is that every voice matters,” Warren’s plan states. “But when lobbyists and big corporations can buy influence from politicians, that promise is broken. The first thing to do to fix it is to end lobbying as we know it.”
Perhaps Warren was talking about the “wrong” kind of lobbyists — big business, business trade groups, NRA, etc.
The next day, Kimberly Diaz Scott, who registered as a lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates as recently as January 2019, announced that she was leaving the organization to head up Warren’s campaign in Florida.
“I won’t be far from the movement, as I’m humbled and proud to announce my transition as the Florida State Director for Warren for President, assuring that we will continue to fight like hell to elect a brilliant leader who will work to protect the health, safety and future of ALL people,” Diaz wrote, the Miami Herald reported. “2020 is not for the rich or selfish, 2020 is for us.”
So now we’ll be punished for being “selfish.” Frankly, I can think of no more selfish act than getting an abortion, but that’s just me.
Then again, the rules are for little people:
Warren’s plan said lobbyists were effectively bribing politicians by donating to politicians, but her own political campaigns have received at least $95,000 from lobbyists between 2012 and 2018, CNBC reported.
A recent occupant of the White House solemnly swore not to use lobbyists to staff his administration. Remember that one, Barry?
President Obama has hired more than 100 lobbyists in his administration, a new academic study reports. This doesn’t match Obama’s campaign promise to exclude lobbyists, or his pretenses of having kept that promise.
“President Obama’s public rhetoric on contact with lobbyists does not always accord with his private actions,” lobbying scholar Conor McGrath writes in the latest issue of the Journal of Public Affairs.
Apparently, lobbyists for the correct groups are A-OK according to Warren. And despite being a senator, Warren has no idea what most lobbyists are all about.
Warren may not have noticed, but the federal government is an extraordinarily large, complex organization with competing interests that no one lawmaker — or president — could possibly grasp. If nothing else, lobbyists often times are a huge help in explaining complex issues to staffs and members.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems with the influence of lobbyists and the practice doesn’t need reforming. Warren might be on to something with the idea of preventing lobbyists from going to work for government for a couple of years to put a dent in the “revolving door” on Capitol Hill.
But it’s been tried before to no avail. Apparently, members like the idea of a safety net in case they lose the next election. They can always go to work lobbying their former mates.
Warren’s ideas don’t excuse her blatant hypocrisy on what kind of lobbying will be allowed and what won’t.