Lobbyists are unhappy. Why? Their strange complaint is that their power is increasing. All thanks to those darn term limits. “We must be stopped!” they say. Their complaints are aired most recently in an article in Christian Science Monitor . Everybody against term limits immediately started citing this article. “See?” they said. “We were right all along. Even the lobbyists want to give their extra power back now. They feel guilty about it.”
Lobbyists like anti-term-limits Common Cause are particularly adamant about how term limits have given lobbyists too much power. One of the “proofs” of how term limits let lobbyists run riot is a survey of lobbyists themselves. It seems 74 percent say legislators are “less knowledgeable” than they were before term limits. Which you would think, if true, makes their jobs harder. “Less knowledgeable” is lobbyist-code for “less willing to accommodate me, the lobbyist.” And that seems to be true.
The article reports that lobbyists in term-limited states aren’t really getting their way as easily as they might like. And we know this because some of the lobbyists are throwing temper tantrums or pulling publicity stunts to catch the attention of legislators, even screaming threats of retribution for opposition to a desired bill. Frankly, I prefer that kind of noise to a world of cozy, peaceful back-room relationships that the public never hears about because everybody involved has agreed to do things on the sly. I want to hear about it.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.