Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate in CT
April 24, 2022
(4) Eliminate the loophole that allows former members of Congress to operate as shadow lobbyists.
Former congressmen are secretly lobbying their former colleagues every day.
According to the Lobbying Disclosure Act, to register as a lobbyist one must spend “20 percent or more of his or her time in services [of a] client over any three-month period.”
That means a person could work 2.5 weeks straight influencing policy, then do nothing else for the client during the quarter—and not have to register as a lobbyist or make public the clients they represent.
Not only is shadow lobbying unethical and un-American because is hides the activities of corporations to influence government, but when it comes to former members of Congress, it’s nothing short of legalized corruption.
Why is it legalized corruption?
Because once a member of Congress retires from the Hill, they retain access to the floor of the House and Senate; use of the Capitol gym; the ability to eat in the member’s only dining room. That access is unrivaled by any other American citizen. And with unrivaled access comes big cash payouts.
But there is a way for former members to lose those cushy access perks.
Any guesses? Oh… you know, just registering as a lobbyist. Is it any wonder why Congress wrote the law with a 20% threshold?
The extent of shadow lobbying is detailed in a 2013 paper by political scientists Tim LaPira and Herschel Thomas. Their key findings? Less than half of all lobbying is reported.
That means something north of 50% of all lobbying is hidden from the public. That needs to change. The 20% threshold needs to be retired.
If any individual is advocating to influence public policy in any meaningful way, they should be forced to register as a lobbyist.
Stop legalized corruption. Increase fairness of competition to petition the government. Amplify transparency.
Shadow lobbying must be eliminated.
If you agree we need to stop the shadow lobbying, then send me an email and join my team. email@example.com