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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 29, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Lobbyists invaluable, political rhetoric aside

This election season, both political parties are blaming Washington, D.C.’s, woes on “special interests,” yet fail to identify who these interests are. The reality is that this means most Americans, without realizing it, have someone advocating for them in our nation’s capital and state legislatures on a daily basis.

Anyone who belongs to any organization — AAA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, a church, union or professional organization — has lobbyists working on his or her behalf. These groups are in constant contact with legislators for the protection of their members’ rights and interests, because the average working American can’t just leave their job for weeks at a time to lobby for themselves.

Both major presidential camps are casting lobbyists as the scapegoats for everything wrong with our nation, yet both candidates know and recognize the value of lobbying in the political process — it’s just not an effective sound bite.

The next time you hear a candidate blame “special interests” for America’s woes, understand they are talking about every citizen who has a job, a child in school or goes to a hospital or house of worship.

— Brian T. Pallasch, president of American League of Lobbyists, Alexandria, Va.

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