November 30, 2009, Stefan Passantino, Head of the Political Law practice at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and expert panelist for the National Journal: Under the Influence Blog.
Stefan Passantino contributes a blog entry concerning the White House’s new restrictions of lobbyists serving on government advisory boards. He argues that it is the responsibility of lawmakers, as the country’s legislative decision-makers, to make an informed decision based on information from all sides.
He says, “There is no doubt that most lobbyists are highly skilled, knowledgeable, and effective communicators of their clients’ interests. Those are not reasons for any government to impose artificial restrictions on the ability of lobbyists to communicate with government. These are reasons for government to ensure that it is being thoughtful before acting. It is the job of government, not the private sector, and certainly not lobbyists, to assimilate all of the available information and data surrounding a particular issue before adopting the policy position or regulation best suited for the governed.”
He suggests that “rather than seek to impose some internal controls on the mechanisms of government decision-making to ensure that government ultimately adopts positions best suited to the governed, this administration has elected to impose impediments to its own access to information from a single class of individuals skilled at providing that information. That might make for good politics on the campaign trail, but it makes for lousy public policy.”
To read the entire entry please click here.