Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Lobby

The PPH examines the role of lobbyists in state government.
The newspaper's survey of state records found that more than two dozen lobbyists each earned $40,000 or more over the last eight months. Eight lobbyists reported earnings that exceeded $100,000, and two of them pulled in more than $200,000 apiece. [...]

[A]s political scientist Marvin Druker of Lewiston-Auburn College noted, the best lobbyists have the time, the experience and the expertise to assure that their clients are heard in the halls of power and that their arguments are presented effectively.

"It does tilt the playing field, to some extent," against those who have less money and are less well-organized, Druker said. He noted, though, that lobbyists are only one group in a system of checks and balances, not the least of which is the importance of public opinion as elections draw near. [...]

In Maine, [Umaine political scientist Amy] Fried said, "state government is extremely accessible" to everyone. Even so, "the lobby" has one undeniable advantage that John and Jane Doe will never have. "Most of us," Fried said, "don't have the time to go hanging around the State House."

Visit the new Maine Politics.


I read that and was astounded that he once again ignores the impact of the Clean Election Act.

Term limits actually increase the power of lobbyists - because they are the ones with institutional memory and know how things work.

Clean Elections has meant that 80% of the legislature does not need to ask lobbyists for money. That goes a lot further to decreasing lobbyists' power.

but he doesn't even mention it. nice. 

Posted by Jon at MCLF

8/22/2005 10:50:00 AM



I can't believe that didn't get a mention. The only mention of campaign money at all is this short sentence: "Some [lobbyists] make campaign contributions, but others do not."

Looks like it's time for a letter to the editor. 

Posted by Mike

8/22/2005 12:50:00 PM


Lobbyists hate term limits. It forces them to make new friends and to establish credibility with lots of new people every two years. It reduces the influence of long term lobbyists who rely on established relationships for their influence.

The story was incredibly shallow. The one thing that stood out to me was how much the Maine Municipal Association pays Geoff Herman. 

Posted by George

8/22/2005 01:33:00 PM



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