I actually know some lobbyist. Most of them are good people. Some do play a valuable role of educating people on issues. But like teenage boys, when you put too many of them together without adult supervision, bad things are bound to happen.
There are only 201 Legislators at the Minnesota Capitol. There’s another couple hundred staffers/assistants who work there to help the Legislators. There are thousands and thousands of lobbyists and shadow lobbyists (unregistered consultants & PR folks who do the same stuff as lobbyists but somehow avoid lobbyist filing requirements and regulations) who roam the Capitol, influence Legislators, and sell their various products/policies that range from good ideas all the way to Pandora’s box & snake oil.
We Republican activists, conservatives, Tea Partiers, Liberty, 2nd Amendment, center right, etc etc …. supporters all complain that you endorse someone in March for State House or Senate, and they end up “betraying” us by opposing something that we passed in our party platform or that they promised us during their delegate calling. We send these innocent Legislators to St. Paul and expect them to stay true when surrounded by thousands of people who get paid to get their way.
Don’t forget that on top of the lobbyists and shadow lobbyists, there are tens of thousands of state bureaucrats who also influence Legislators.
But after we endorsed them in the Spring every 2 or 4 years, did we stay in touch with our Republican Legislators? Or did we just expect them to work around our BPOU meeting schedule where we can grill them with a bunch of tough questions about what other Legislators are doing?
They are outnumbered at the Capitol by professional policy pushers for special interests. These people are not there just trying to push a bad policy, they are there to educate (or spin) the good aspects of bills. They are professional salesman who get paid for results. Most of them wouldn’t be employed if they couldn’t convince people on why a policy should be passed. So they are good at making bad policies sound good. They gloss over bad aspects and hard sell the good points that a politician can use to get reelected.
If you see what is happening at the Capitol and what the Governor is demanding and are upset or worried, you need to stop complaining and start petitioning your legislators IN PERSON!
Find out who represents you. Call them on issues. Take a day off work and go down and talk to them.
If I had the time, I have always wanted to have a Republican Lobby Day. A day when we try to get all 15,000 people who attend Republican Precinct Caucus to show up at the Capitol and talk to their Legislators of both parties.
We, as a conservative movement, often fall victim to preaching to the choir, in that, we only try to hold our own (Republican Legislators) accountable. We have cases where our activists and figurehead/leaders who may have even had liberal DFL Reps for years, will make it their life’s mission to defeat someone else’s Republican Legislator who only has a 93% “votes with me” rating. Yet this person never bothers to go talk with their own DFL Representative who gets 90% of the votes wrong.
We always get upset when we send Republicans to St. Paul and they let us down, but have we bothered to go down there ourselves to keep them on our side? They see countless people every day trying to twist their arms to support policies we oppose.
Go find out who your Legislators are and go down tot he Capitol to visit them. Even if you have a DFLer!