From the Patriot Post, April 27, 2007 –
Lobbying continues to grow in DC
In the past, power shifts in Washington usually meant dark days for lobbyists who had solicited the party being removed from power, but with Congress closely divided and an active GOP administration in the White House, Republican lobbying firms are still pulling in big business. Match this with the sharp rise in Demo lobbyists looking to gain access to the new committee leaders on the Hill, and we have the makings of a lobbying boom. In the months since the 2006 elections, new lobbying registrations totaled 2,232, up from 1,222 this time last year. Clients at Patton Boggs, DC’s largest firm, have tripled, and many other firms are also experiencing double-digit growth. Some organizations like the Carmen Group are going bipartisan and hiring new lobbyists to handle the surge in clients looking to work with both parties.
This sharp rise in the growth of lobbying firms is the surest sign that lobbying reform—fortunately—is dead and buried in Congress. While we don’t condone the unethical behavior of some lobbyists, efforts to stifle the free speech of any constituency group are not the solution to corruption. Democrats came to power promising a change in the way lobbyists work on Capitol Hill, but we don’t think this is the change they were promising.