Carter Wrenn, whiz kid of the wacko right, must have had too much to drink over the weekend. But I sure do hope the Republicans take his weird advice to heart.
Here’s my point: if Rep. Stam and the House Republicans want to stand up for the First Amendment, fine. But they should go a step further. They should require lobbyists – every time one makes a contribution or raises money for a legislator – to immediately disclose why.
For instance, if a lobbyist contributes to Representative John Doe the lobbyist should immediately disclose that he or she is also trying to get Representative Doe to vote for a $400,000 grant to, say, the Teapot Museum.
Then the public would see not just the money the lobbyist raised for Rep. Doe but what Rep. Doe may have done for it in return. That might not end ‘pay to play’ but it would make it a lot riskier for Rep. Doe.
I can just see it now. A lobbyist raises money for a Puppet and then dutifully reports the motivation for all to see:
Lobbyist: I gave money to Joe Boylan because I wanted him to vote for a landfill on some useless property my client owns.
Lobbyist: I gave money to Jim Black because I wanted to create a windfall for eyeglass makers all over North Carolina.
Lobbyist: I gave money to (pick your right wing nutcase) because I don't want the gummint interfering with our right to pollute rivers and streams.
Wrenn has interesting things to say from time to time, but this commentary is flat-out weird. What's to stop a lobbyist from saying that he simply likes how Representative Doe votes on the issues and wants to offer his support? Passing a law that requires delving into the motivations of lobbyists and requiring them to disclose why they're doing what they're doing seems ridiculous on the face of it.