Some lobbyists are refusing to act like battered wives who continue to stand by their men. “You can’t just call me bad names night and day and expect me to show up,” says lobbyist and former Rep. Mike Flanagan. According to Roll Call, lobbyists are upset that lawmakers spend all day blaming them for the ills of Washington and then ask them to attend $2,000 fundraisers in the evening.
A smattering of Republican lobbyists, fed up with lobbying reform and fearful of an aggressive Justice Department probe into bribery scandals, are quietly registering their discontent in the one area that might actually matter on Capitol Hill: withholding campaign donations.
In the grand scheme of multimillion-dollar races, a holdout by a few well-connected GOP fundraiser-lobbyists is hardly going to bankrupt candidate coffers. But the small protest suggests a growing divide between the K Street money machine and lawmakers’ war chests. … “The Speaker, back in January, laid down the gauntlet and said we need to minimize our contact with lobbyists, implying something is not right,” this lobbyist said. But, he added, he has continued to receive fundraising solicitations from the Speaker. Just this week, this lobbyist received an invitation to a breakfast on May 25 for Hastert’s political action committee. The “suggested minimum contribution” to attend was $2,500.
“How dare he ask us for money,” this lobbyist said.