February 22, 2005
On Some Planets, Lobbyists Don't Influence Votes
But this is Earth. Early in my (interrupted, uncompleted) 2002 run for the state legislature I was knocking on doors and meeting people in my neighborhood. One door was answered by a lobbyist for the road construction industry. We had a great conversation about the General Assembly that included his anecdotes about how difficult he and his colleagues could make life for legislators who did not follow his trade group's "bidding," so to speak. Our conversation was polite, but there was an underlying near-threat implied by these stories, and by his last words: "I'll sign your petition, but be certain that if you do get elected to Nashville, I'll be knocking on your door the day you arrive." I somehow don't think he meant it would be to talk about tennis.
I also got this general impression about lobbyists (that they can be one's best friends or worst enemies, depending on one's response to their advances) once when discussing legislative life with Representative Tommie Brown (D-28).
Perhaps State Senator Ward Crutchfield's (D-10) experience has been different; without having been there, I cannot but give him the benefit of the doubt. His (with Representative Tré Hargett's) just seems to counter all other accounts.
Government | By joe lance | 10:37 AM