P O S T E D B Y J O H N
Remember how, during the 2006 elections, exit pollsters reported significant voter frustration with corruption in politics? Nancy Pelosi, then soon-to-be Speaker of the House, promised a shakedown in Congress. “The Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history,” she said in an apparently unguarded moment.
- Require lobbyists to disclose details about large donations they arrange for politicians.
- Make former lawmakers wait two years, instead of one, before lobbying Congress.
- Bar lobbyists from throwing large parties for lawmakers at national political conventions.
Apparently if it pays, it plays.
Meanwhile, lawmakers continue their periodic assaults on nonprofit advocacy rights. Our colleagues at the Alliance for Justice need to be ever-vigilant for legislation that would erode the ability of Third Sector organizations to speak out for or against legislation, register voters, and, in general, engage a wider spectrum of the American public in civic deliberation.
Nonprofit advocacy organizations provide a voice for low-income and other aggrieved communities. They’re a great democratizing force, frequently challenging government and big industries on a range of issues.
Apparently in politics as in other domains, the squeaky wheel gets the grief—especially if that wheel doesn’t offer you a golf junket to Scotland.