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Hey, what do these twelve legislators have in common?

This is via That’s My Congress, which is about to become very confused about why it’s getting traffic from a VRWC site. Here’s the list:

Lois Capps
Michael Capuano
Ben Cardin
Diana DeGette
Eliot Engel
Barney Frank
Alan Grayson
Carolyn McCarthy
Bill Pascrell
Adam Schiff
Allyson Schwartz
Heath Shuler

…and they have two things in common. First, they’re all Democrats. Second, they all have email addresses with Erickson & Company. And what is Erickson & Company? As That’s My Congress puts it:

Erickson & Company is not a lobbying firm. Instead, it helps set up events like the Heath Shuler’s BBQ, at which lobbyists and other people seeking special favors can come, check in hand, to pay for access to elected officials and their aides.

In other words, it’s a legal [and Democratic-aligned] money-laundering facility for lobbyists. Need to toss Heath Shuler some cash, but you’re a dirty lobbyist? Well, go to Shuler’s little BBQ (run by a go-between), drop a grand for a plate of food, and say hi! No fuss, no muss, no need for disclosure. Shuler’s happy: he’s getting his cut of your entry fee. The go-between is happy: it’s getting its cut of your entry fee. And you’re happy: this is a lot cheaper than a maximum campaign contribution would be.

So remember this, the next time anybody on that list – or, honestly, any Democrat – talks about the evil of lobbying: the sound you hear isn’t scorn towards those who would try to pay for influence.  Nope.  It’s scorn towards the rubes who don’t know how to tell when a Democrat is gaming the system.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.

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