By ANDREW WYNER
POGO recently sat down with Howard Marlowe, president of the American League of Lobbyists (ALL), to discuss ALL's recommendations for reforming the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA). ALL's proposed reforms would force more lobbyists to disclose their lobbying activities and attempt to close many loopholes that continue to plague lobbying registration.
While ALL's recommendations do not amend all faults with the LDA, POGO was happy to sit down and discuss the group’s suggestions. To be clear, POGO isn't opposed to the act of lobbying. In fact, we at POGO lobby within legal limits too. The problem is not the act of lobbying, it is the lack of disclosure and the nexus between lobbying and campaign contributions or government contracts or grants.
Primarily, ALL wants more lobbyists to register their lobbying activities to the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate, who jointly control lobbying registration. If the idea of a lobbyist association advocating tighter registration requirements sounds funny to you, you're not alone. The idea is that greater registration would both make the lobbying business more transparent and improve its reputation.
The problem, as ALL puts it, is that lobbyists are getting a bad rap: