Lobbyists

Despite repeated promises to drain the “Swamp”, the Washington Black Lagoon is still alive and brimming with swamp creatures. They are known as lobbyists and there are an estimated 15,000 such critters in Washington. This should concern you.

But what is exactly a lobbyist?

California defines a lobbyist as follows:

“Lobbyist” means either of the following: (1) Any individual who receives $2,000 or more in economic consideration in a calendar month, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, or whose principal duties as an employee are, to communicate directly or through his or her agents with any elective state official, agency official, or legislative official for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action.”

So a lobbyist is a person who tries to control legislation on behalf of a special interest. And he/she will do this, regardless if his activity is harmful to the environment or to the public good.

And how much does a lobbyist get for such services?

“The median annual Lobbyist salary is $109,082, as of March 29, 2018, with a range usually between $87,902-$150,417, however, this can vary widely depending on a variety of factors.”

But then, what is a mercenary? A person primarily concerned with material rewards at the expense of ethics.

I am a rather unsophisticated person and I struggle to understand the difference between a lobbyist and a mercenary. Maybe “lobbyist” sounds more palatable than mercenary, just as “escort” sounds more acceptable than prostitute.

I wonder who has more scruples? A lobbyist or a mercenary? Or none of them…

Regardless, both groups are paid for services rendered without regards for the morality of their actions. Why should this concern you? Because lobbyists, (particularly Big Pharma), have too much influence over legislators.

If a disease won’t kill you, the unreasonable prices of drugs certainly will.

You ought to know that the present administration opted not to have the federal government directly negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare. And chose not to allow American consumers to import low-cost medicines from abroad.”

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When you are in the voting booth, watch out for special interests and run the known scoundrels out of office.

Alain

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