03
Dec
07

Lobbying as a Form of Self Defense.

For good reasons, lobbying has a sleazy reputation. But not all lobbyists are created equal. Yes, most of them are looking for special handouts and unearned wealth, but a few are merely trying to protect their clients from the predatory political class.

Writing for Townhall.com, Paul Jacobs explains how both Microsoft and Wal-Mart have This isn't that far away from the truth.become very active in Washington largely to protect their right to engage in peaceful commerce:

The retail giant, founded in 1962 (incorporated in ’69), grew phenomenally throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. But the company didn’t hire a single lobbyist until 1999. In the 1998 cycle, Wal-Mart’s PAC donated a total of $135,000 to federal candidates. Seems they were focused on pleasing customers, not politicians. Former Arkansas Senator Dale Bumpers explained Wal-Mart’s disinterest in making political donations this way: “They were doing very well without any government assistance, and the government was not interfering with them too much. And I guess they felt it would be money sort of wasted.” But now the besieged company spends $2.5 million a year on lobbyists; political contributions have jumped a whopping ten-fold.

Same thing happened back in the ’90s when the Clinton Justice Department decided to launch a witch-hunt against Microsoft. Microsoft had been working its business instead of plying politicians with donations. After the government mugging, Microsoft’s political donations soared 9,000 percent

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