Cutting in Line

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I was reading this blog post that the Advocacy Director of End the Occupation, a pro-Palestinian organization, sent Sunlight over e-mail about the difficulty in obtaining a seat at a congressional committee mark-up session and was thinking about all those stories about homeless people working as line-sitters for corporate lobbyists. Lo and behold, The Daily Beast has a video report up today on that exact topic. Another aspect of the Washington influence game that most people are completely unaware of.

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  • I saw some good and some bad in this video, but I suspect at the end of the day there is a lot of abuse going on. I was wondering if an aggressive enforcement action on labor laws might curb some of the more blatant exploitation that seems to be happening (and also make the members of Congress a little gunshy about this silly system)?

    And, to continue to beat a horse I’ve been beating for many years, if Congress put broadcast-quality video from *every* committee hearing on the Internet, hearings would for the first time become truly public. Hearings today are only available to those who work DC for a living and reside inside the beltway (no offense to present company intended), but the workings of our nation’s Congress should be available to the entire country.

    A public hearing is not truly public unless it is available on the Internet, as it happens and forever in the Archive. it is a foundational issue of creating a public record for public proceedings.