Defenders of the lobbying industry, mostly those who are making big bucks off it, point to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution with its right to petition the government and say that gives the lobbying industry special protection under the law.
What I find particularly disturbing about that argument is it's being made by some of the same people who go on and on about how we must base interpretation of the law on the original intent of the framers.
Certainly our founding fathers could never have dreamed that the right to petition, which was their method of opening the doors of government to the average citizen, would be twisted into a defense of a multi-billion dollar industry designed to protect special interests and fatten the pocketbooks of the few at the expense of the many.
As the federal corruption probe into lobbying excesses continues, each new revelation makes it more apparent that sweeping changes are needed, and just as apparent that Congress does not plan to make them.
This is the time for citizens to do the thing for which that portion of the First Amendment was intended and let their representatives and senators know that keeping things status quo is not going to cut it.
The latest news, coming in an article in today's Washington Post, indicates a lobbying firm connected with California Congressman Jerry Lewis may have underreported its income by well over a million dollars.