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Putting Lobbyists Back in the Lobby: The Government We Deserve, no. 2

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Publication Date: May 2007

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): C. Eugene Steuerle

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Government (Legislative power and procedure)

Keywords: Governance

Type: Report


Representing clients should be an honorable occupation, whether in lobbying or law. After all, there is no public interest without private interests at stake, and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution demonstrates the value we place on free speech. But, lobbying has moved from the corridors of power into the very chambers where policy is created. Along the way, our elected officials have allowed lobbying to usurp their own role and that of public servants tasked with considering foremost what is in the general interest. The tough, but essential, question becomes not how to regulate away lobbying, but how to put special-interest petitioning in its rightful place.