2005-06-22

Lobby-Boom in den USA weiter ungebrochen

--- Neues aus der Lobbymeile der US-Hauptstadt und die gemachte �ffentlichkeit in einem "Must Read" aus der Washington Post unter dem Titel The Road to Riches Is Called K Street. Lobbying Firms Hire More, Pay More, Charge More to Influence Government:
The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750 while the amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent. Only a few other businesses have enjoyed greater prosperity in an otherwise fitful economy. ... "There's unlimited business out there for us," said Robert L. Livingston, a Republican former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and now president of a thriving six-year-old lobbying firm. "Companies need lobbying help." Lobbying firms can't hire people fast enough. Starting salaries have risen to about $300,000 a year for the best-connected aides eager to "move downtown" from Capitol Hill or the Bush administration. Once considered a distasteful post-government vocation, big-bucks lobbying is luring nearly half of all lawmakers who return to the private sector when they leave Congress, according to a forthcoming study by Public Citizen's Congress Watch. Political historians don't see these as positive developments for democracy. "We've got a problem here," said Allan Cigler, a political scientist at the University of Kansas. "The growth of lobbying makes even worse than it is already the balance between those with resources and those without resources." ... "We're trying to take advantage of the fact that Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House," said John D. Hassell, director of government affairs at Hewlett-Packard. "There is an opportunity here for the business community to make its case and be successful."
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