Friday, January 27, 2006
Lobbying is free speech guaranteed by the Constitution. However, the contemporary practice in Washington is corrupt. Here is my simple proposal for reform.
All gifts without exception are prohibited. The includes everything from free meals at Burger King to weekend trips to Scotland to play golf.
All lobbying will take place in designated places set aside for the purpose. Each room will be sparsely furnished, containing only a table and straight chairs and dimly lighted by a bulb hung down from the ceiling on a wire.
All conversations will be videotaped and available to anyone who wants to listen.
The express purpose will be for the lobbyist to convince Representatives, Senators, and the President by the power of reason that any proposal they want be in the public interest.
Written materials may be provided that shall be open to public inspection.
All campaigns for national office will be publicly financed by a surcharge on income tax payments based on a percentage of gross income or profit.
Members of the Supreme Court will be instructed on the difference between free speech and purchased speech employed for political purposes that unfairly gives an advantage to those with money.
Elected officials who violate these provisions will be immediately eliminated from office forever. Lobbyists and their employers in violation will be forced to watch for eights hours a day six days a week for ten years reruns of the Oprah Show on which she apologized for endorsing a non-fiction book that was full of fiction.