Let’s All Go to the Lobby….

Lawmakers to Lobbyists: McDaniel (top) says 'cool it'; Wills says 'no problem'
Lawmakers to Lobbyists: McDaniel (top) says 'cool it'; Wills says 'not a problem'

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dusts off the old “legislators turn into lobbyists” story, which runs every two years like clockwork and nothing ever changes. But not this time, and we mean it!

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel declares he’s gonna do some attorney generalin’, and first up is calling for a “cooling off” period of one year before a legislator can register as a lobbyist:

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he plans to propose as part of his ethics legislation a provision to ban lawmakers, the state’s constitutional officers, and their chiefs of staff and state agency directors from lobbying for a year after they leave office.

“It is going to cause some hurt feelings among my friends, but I think it is the right thing to do,” said McDaniel, a former one-term member of the House of Representatives.

By the way, the other night I told your mom that we might need to take a “cooling off” period, and she did NOT take it well. She’s pretty volatile since your dad walked out on her, man. What’s that about?

But back to the lobbying thing: House Speaker Robert “Robbie” Wills says not to worry, because all this ethics stuff is way overblown:

“This is not a problem I’ve observed in Arkansas,” he said. “Term limits prevent anyone from staying in office long enough to gain an unfair advantage and very few term-limited lawmakers become lobbyists. This idea sounds nice, but in reality it’s a solution in search of a problem.”

This lobbying sounds like a pretty sweet gig, so I think I’m going to be a lobbyist, too. To recruit my services, you can send your checks to me c/o The Arkansas Project. Keep in mind that I don’t really have any significant connections in state government, and I’m not very smart so I don’t understand legislative process or some of the finer points of policy, and I’m lazy and unreliable and most people don’t like me very much.

Where the hell was I going with this? Oh, yeah. Send money.

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5 thoughts on “Let’s All Go to the Lobby….

  • January 10, 2009 at 9:33 am
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    Mr. ARPro Guy, you have me at a loss. Here you are wanting to be a lobbyist and have to do all of that sucking up to legislators when by your own admission – “…I don’t really have any significant connections in state government, and I’m not very smart so I don’t understand legislative process or some of the finer points of policy, and I’m lazy and unreliable and most people don’t like me very much…” – you are undeniably fully qualified to be an actual legislator. Why pay to play when you can get paid to play? You definitely qualify to be one of the LilBits (Lazy Brethren In The Senate) and enjoy some serious lobbyist largesse.

    It is funny, all these years folks have said that the Senate was the stop-gap for the shennanigans in the House. The inference was that the more serious-minded and obviously smarter members of the Senate would deliberate on House-passed (or is it House-assed) measures and discard them into the waste heap, thus saving the good citizens of Arkansas from a burden of legislatively mandated stupidity. In truth, there are only 35 senators versus 100 representatives, so a lobbyist’s buck goes farther in the Senate. Why in the world waste your time spending money down in the House, spreading it across larger numbers of committee members when you can trot up to the Senate end and simply visit 3 or 4 senators in a committee and have your work wrapped up? Right Don Tilton? Isn’t that how it is done?

    Reply
  • January 10, 2009 at 9:37 am
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    Me in the Arkansas legislature, Cameron? Man, I don’t know. I also have this offer to star in a series of televised ads talking about how effective this new erectile dysfunction drug is. I think I’ll go with that one. It’s more dignified.
    D.

    Reply
  • January 10, 2009 at 9:48 am
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    I dunno. Somehow, I can’t imagine you sitting in a bathtub beside some 60-ish woman in a similar bathtub, holding hands and watching the sunset. To be honest, if that is all there is, why bother?

    Think about running man. From the way you describe yourself, you are definitely qualified.

    Reply
  • January 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm
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    Additionally, ban all former legislators from state government jobs or appointments for two years after leaving. Term limits mean term limits so bad legislators like Jodie Mahoney can’t continue to screw up the k-12 education system just because they’re owed favors.

    Real ethics reform would outlaw any state or local government expenditure, direct or indirect, for or against any ballot initiative or candidate. It would also prohibit state paid lobbyists from lobbying for tax dollars.

    I used to be for good government, but now I’d take fewer hands in the till.

    Reply
  • January 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm
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    “Somehow, I can’t imagine you sitting in a bathtub beside some 60-ish woman in a similar bathtub, holding hands and watching the sunset.”

    Jeez Cameron, thanks for the visual. Ow my eyes. It burns.

    David, have you forgotten about the “Click to Give” button up there on the right? That would make it easier for folks seeking your inexperience, don’t ya think?

    Reply

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