Would you believe that anti-lobbyist candidates have transformed, like caterpillars into butterflies, and arrived in Washington to hire lobbyists to work for them? The hypocrisy play here is obvious, but of course, but members of Congress need to find people to help them influence the legislative process, and that's what lobbyists do for a living. And lobbyist PR people pointing out that public advocates are lobbyists, too, isn't off the mark. The problem isn't lobbyists themselves, but the structure they work in -- the lack of transparency around who's lobbying for whom and the amount of money lobbyists spend that isn't properly documented. People and organizations are able to petition Congress, and there's no reason we shouldn't have professional petitioners. We need better rules so that lobbyists don't just become fronts to launder corporate money to legislators or to disguise the origins of our laws.
-- Tim Fernholz