Lobbies

“What’s a lobby Big Guy?” asked Pavo peering at me from inside his cage door. He had just finished reading a page from a Time Magazine article I left on the bottom of his cage.

“Let me give you a demonstration little lovebird.” I said as I folded down his wire door, turning it into a small platform, giving him a place to stand. “Not every building has one. And in some they’re called a foyer, an entryway, or a vestibule. It’s usually the way to get in the front door.”

Pavo stepped onto the wire platform and looked around. “If that’s all there is, why are the Dummy Crats so steamed up about lobby reform? Doesn’t make sense to me that lobbies could be an issue. ”

“That’s a different kind of lobby Pavo. The lobbies they’re talking about are the ones that try to influence legislation before the Congress.”

“A part of a building can do that?” he said, a dash of disbelief in his voice.

“No, it’s the folks inside. They’re called lobbyists.”

“My education seems to be an endless process Big Guy. Tell me about other kinds of lobbies.”

“Lobby is a name that was given to any group of folks loitering around the halls of Congress making deals with their congressmen to influence legislation of interest to them. It’s supposed to be a way for citizens to have a direct connection with their representative.”

“An interesting language evolution but what’s wrong with the idea? Doesn’t it work anymore?”

“The Dummy Crats were very effective in the use of lobbys and lobbyists. But over the years they found it more advantageous to meet in local restaurants and hotels where they could be wined, dined and entertained in lavish style. And that led eventually to sailboat adventures, golf links at Caribbean resorts and other exotic places, away from the prying eyes of the public.”

“And the Dummy Crats want to do away with that. Are they crazy?”

“There’s been a profound change in the public perception of lobbies lately Pavo. Also, the Dummy Crats now share control with the Rubbly Cans who want to take over. And the Rubbly Can’s past use of lobbyists has made the Dummy Crats look like small change pikers. Some call it blatant influence peddling. So with everyone clamoring for change, this may be the year they’ll finally get it.”

“But wasn’t that a core part of the big Newt’s Contract on America many years back.”

“Not so minor midget. Not a breath of a mention?”

“If there was no mention in the Big Newt’s contract for reform, then there must not be a problem.”

“It’s like the Theory of Relativity Pavo. Your ability to measure events in the universe is influenced by the position from which you observe them. Nevertheless, the Rubbly Cans, ever alert for an opportunity to head off the Dummy Crats, came up with a bold and imaginative plan to alter the influence of lobbyists.”

“And what is this unique and creative strategy Big Guy.”

“Don’t force them to peck around the edges. Bring them inside.”

“But I thought they were already inside the building.”

“No. I mean, inside the system. The Government itself. Hire them to work as staffers for the congressmen they once lobbied.”

“A brilliant and bold stroke. But isn’t that like bringing in the foxes to guard the chickens?”

“Not chickens Pavo. Turkeys.”

“Is this the wave of the future? Our New Age Congress?”

“Think of how it simplified the system. Fewer lobbyists paying for sex, drugs and rock and roll. By moving them inside we didn’t need a staff to deal with lobbyists anymore. This eliminated the middle man and reduced the size of the federal gumminit all at the same time.”

“Are you sure it worked? – Can you give me some examples?”

“Remember all the flap about health care Pavo? The House Ways and Means Committee health subcommittee hired one of the top strategists from the Health Insurance Association of America, health care’s chief opponent. It was like having Harry and Louise working for the Government, looking out for your best interests from the inside.”

“A bold and perceptive stroke.”

“And the Senate didn’t wish to be upstaged by the rebellious House. They brought in one of the highest placed spokespeople for the timber industry to serve the Energy and Natural Resource Committee.”

“Would I be far off Big Guy if I thought that this committee has jurisdiction over the management and leasing of Federal forests?”

“Now you’re getting the picture little one. Civic minded citizens, working in the public interest.”

“And there are yet others Big Guy?”

“Here’s one they combined forces on. How about a top lobbyist from a major law and lobbying firm to head the congressional Joint Tax Committee?”

“Sounds like the lawyers have the upper hand Big Guy.”

“And, rest assured Pavo, we paid the bill.”

“I’m sure there was a check off box on your tax return.”

“Then, while they were at it, they hired a historian to cover their tails Pavo. Certainly, you can appreciate the need to do that. And they charged it all to the public expense.”

Pavo walked back into his cage and motioned for me to close the door. He slid down the bars to the bottom where he paced back and forth for several minutes. Finally, he looked at me over his shoulder, “How do I become a lobbyist Big Guy?”

“Sorry Pavo. I wouldn’t encourage it. I don’t have deep enough pockets to send you there. Also, there’s already more than enough competition down there to fill all available positions.”

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About D. B. Guy

ex-traveler, ex-Navy vet, ex-depression baby, long time retiree, current lounge chair occupant, husband, grandfather, computer novice-junkie, man-about-town(ret.), jolly good fellow
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4 Responses to Lobbies

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Guy,

    Thank you for explaining to Pavo about lobbies. After reading your conversation with him, I think I understand it somewhat better myself. Bribery has always been a natural and legitimate way of doing business in many parts of the world. Why not here? If the Major Lobbyists are busy wining and dining the members of congress and taking them on lavish golfing junkets and such, right along many Minor Lobbyists have wound up on the payroll of the staffs of the congresspersons.

    Of course, if the Minor Lobbyists are doing most of the work, then the congresspersons are free to spend more time campaigning for the next election to represent their constituents’ interests.

    It’s a win-win situation for everybody! Well, maybe for everyone except the constituents.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  2. Carlynda says:

    Is that really all there is to it because that’d be flbabegrsating.

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