Sunday, January 08, 2006

Re: Lobbying

I've been thinking about lobbying lately, as has just about everyone it seems. Since I'm a member of the association community here in Washington, DC, I have more exposure to it firsthand than many. I suppose there are some high-powered types who really peddle their influence, but I am concerned that this scandal will affect all the people who push good--or at least necessary--causes and who take pride in their work. I am concerned about "lobbying reform," which in my mind amounts to a circumscription on citizens' free speech. In my view, anyone can and possibly SHOULD lobby the government. Naturally, money is part of that process, even if you're only paying for your team's food at McDonalds.

I very much agree with the point of view posed by Jan Witold Baran in today's Washington Post subtitled "Don't let one bad Abramoff spoil the whole bunch." I guess my reflection is this: the unethical/illegal activities have been spotted, and the system is cleaning itself. Isn't that a success story?

In related news, I was browsing my alma mater's website and found this free internet course that would be a good primer for association people interested in getting more of a context for government affairs.