Embracing lobbyists | TheUnion.com

Embracing lobbyists

Last December 20, publisher Jeff Ackerman reported in The Union that an aide to Congressman John Doolittle advised him that Nevada County would best serve its interests by hiring a lobbyist. Shocked, Ackerman wrote, “… And here I thought politicians only listened to ‘The People.'”

At first I assumed the aide misspoke, inadvertently spilling the beans about how legislation really happens these days. I was sure her boss chided her for it and then got back to work raising money.

But no. Her suggestion was a conscious one: government by lobby is Mr. Doolittle’s honest perspective. Speaking two weeks ago to the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, he encouraged Oroville to hire a federal lobbyist. He said cities that do so usually receive a good return on their investment. He cited the City of Lincoln, which pays former Doolittle staffer-and former Jack Abramoff associate-Kevin Ring $85,000 annually to lobby on its behalf.

Our representative democracy has been insidiously replaced by a system deaf to everything but money. That’s tragic, but what’s worse is that We the People aren’t out in the streets screaming bloody murder.

Jeff Kane

Nevada City

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