May 11, 2018

Our weak lobbying laws

Guardian - Professor James Thurber of American University, who has researched lobbying for decades, said it was too easy for influential people in Washington to make money around the legislative process without informing the public, in what is loosely termed shadow lobbying.

“If someone is trying to influence government policy and is getting paid for it, they should register,” said Thurber, who said that as well as being fundamentally weak, the Lobbying Disclosure Act was also not enforced aggressively enough.

The 23-year-old law states that anyone who spends 20% of their time lobbying in a three-month period, and is paid to lobby public officials twice or more, must register as a lobbyist and identify their clients. Ethics experts have consistently said this language makes it too easy to technically avoid that threshold. Robert Mueller investigating payments to Michael Cohen, Swiss drug giant says Read more

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