Proper I.D. or Scarlet L?

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Apropos to all the lobbyist sponsored parties at the conventions, the Los Angeles Times, in its Sunday edition, reported that LA’s city council is considering requiring lobbyists to wear a badge identifying them as influence peddlers when they are in city buildings and while attending city-sponsored events. The city’s ethics commission is floating the idea as part of an effort to overhaul its lobbying rules. The badges would help city officials and employees identify who’s advocating for city contractors, real estate developers or other special interests, the paper reports.

Not surprisingly, many lobbyists hate the idea, referring to it as a “Scarlet L,” and in a much more over-the-top comparison, likening it to the Star of David armbands the Nazis forced Jewish prisoners wear. One lobbyist, however, said he would agree to the badge in a trade off. “You let me get through security without emptying my pockets, and I’ll wear anything,” the Times quotes him as saying.

The commission will review the proposal over the next two months, and will then present their plan to the city council for final approval. We’ll keep an eye on this one.

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