Friday, March 12, 2010

Too Damn Much Money

I enjoyed this tremendously. By Robert Kaiser and a expansion of The Citizen K Street Project it gave me a great view of how lobbying became such an industry. Cassidy and Associates were not the first lobbyists but they were the first to popularize and use "earmarks" for their clients which were mainly universities seeking federal funds for building new centers and renovations of existing buildings.

The strange thing was that I had expected to be angry at all the waste of tax dollars but I was not. There was no clear cut reason for coming down on one side or the other of the earmarks that the universities were seeking. It all goes to show that whether it is waste or not depends on your point of view.

The Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal really goes to show that it is a matter of degree (and perhaps it is a fine degree) whether lobbying is a legal and above board or distasteful and illegal.

In all this was a great retrospective on lobbying in Washington DC.

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