Vanity Fair: Donald Trump Says He Doesn’t Need Lobbyists. He’s Probably Wrong.
But these days, thanks to looser restrictions on campaign-finance laws, “‘lobbying’ has become a shorthand for wealthy financial interests” trying to push their agenda through the government, says Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit organization focused on combating the influence of money in politics. (The group’s founder, Trevor Potter, served as legal counsel to Stephen Colbert’s satirical super-PAC.)
“Well-heeled interests can hire talented lobbyists to make their case,” McGehee noted. “But they’re not representing the consumers themselves.”
McGehee, a registered lobbyist herself, noted that the constant push to shrink the size of government has left it staffed largely by people willing to work for smaller salaries, i.e. “25-year-old staffers with no knowledge or experience” to draft legislation.
Hence, government’s reliance on lobbyists, who are often political veterans with years of experience in federal agencies or Congress, and who work on behalf of the players who can finance them. And that, McGehee warned, is not something Trump has said publicly he could fix. “Trump will likely meet with people from large corporations, employers, bundlers—yes, it’s expected. But nothing ensures that the constituent side gets heard.”
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