How much does it cost to buy a politician?

August 6th, 2013 by Ken

I’ve got to thinking about the stink being made over legislative lunches.

First, I’ve got to commend the reporters who spent weeks sifting through Public Disclosure forms to gather the information that some legislators were depending heavily on free meals from lobbyist.

But, I’ve got to ask – – so what?

There’s a limit on how much a lobbyist can spend on a meal for a legislator and the law allows them to take infrequent meals.    And, lobbyists have to disclose how much they spent and on whom they spent it.

There’s a move underfoot to restrict lobbyist meals even more and make it illegal to take any free meals.  That may even eventually cover the cost of a cup of coffee.

We can’t buy legislators anymore.  Washington state is so strict on rules and regulations that few if any lobbyists or elected officials break the rules on purpose.   I’m sure it happens, but it’s rare.

Now, it’s just easier to rent a politician.

It works this way.   A special interest group – – lets call it teachers – – find a teacher willing to serve.   The school district would give them time off during the legislative session and so there’s no loss in pay.   Once a candidate has been identified. the teacher’s union gives money and gets all teachers to give money.   They get together, doorbell, and make phone calls to get her elected.

And it works.  Now they’ve got a friend in the legislature.  So – they want to take her out for lunch or dinner and talk with her about the issues.  What’s wrong with that?

That my friends, is how you rent a legislator.

You can’t buy them anymore, but you can sure rent them.


Posted in Government, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

(comments are closed).