One of Obama‘s campaign pledges was to “wrest the federal government out of the hands of lobbyists.” And granted, most talk of lobbyists conjures images like this and this. But, c’mon, not all lobbyists are greed-driven parasitic rodents — some actually work to protect citizens.
In a column today at HuffPo, Lanny Davis tried to redirect lobbyist discourse, hitting the issue on its head.
“What is negative about lobbying is the absence of transparency — when the powerful and the wealthy have secret influence on members of Congress or the executive branch.”
“With total transparency, lobbyists and the officials they try to influence will have to ask themselves the question “would I mind if this lobbying meeting is fully reported in all respects in tomorrow’s newspaper?”
The Jack Abramoffs of lobbying will continue to sprinkle their corruption and egregious fraud in big DC firms, but if Obama puts a few former lobbyists in his administration, don’t be so fast to make the jump to corporate corruption.