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Counterintuitive Man says: Lobbying and lobbyists are swell!

The candidates and the media whine non-stop about lobbyists, power brokers and bowing to special interests, but they don't have their thinking caps turned on!

Politicians swear to uphold the Constitution, which says we the people have an absolute right to "petition Congress for a redress of grievances." How do you think you do that, by writing a letter?

Every industry, every group and every person has the freedom and an inalienable right to lobby Congress directly themselves! And they should -- it's the American way!

If you want the elites in Congress to consider your wishes, what better way than to hire a pro to represent you! Or two pros!

If someone wants to cut off your access to Congress by outlawing your professional representatives, that makes them the enemy!

Lobbying is why America is better than a dictatorship! Well, it's part of why.

If your mouth and brain don'ta worka so good, it's great that you can hire extra brainpower and a mouthpiece to speaka for you!

If you can't spend your time in that festering pesthole inside the Beltway, it's great that you can hire some hired gun to stay there for you! They even like it!

If your Rolodex is already full, it's great to bring in a specialist with an effective Rolodex in your stead!

People who love or hate any issue (take for example, guns) have a protected right to lobby for their cause! What a great idea! Lobbying means you have a level playing field! It also means you don't have to shoot at each other!

If your opponents are better organized, have more supporters, raise more money or can hire more lobbyists than you, tough noogies pal! That's what majority rule is all about! Go get more supporters and more money, or recognize you're just marginal flaky losers!

Knowing that legislators are often bottom-feeding maggots, it just makes sense to sic a barracuda on them to get their attention!

Your enemies are constantly buttonholing the influence peddlers, why shouldn't you! It's only fair!

The powerful drug-company lobbies face off against the powerful patient-and-doctor lobbies! It's almost like a ball game, except ball players get paid more! Well, some do. It's totally American!

Yes, lobbying upholds every great tradition we have -- representative government, democratic principles, citizen participation, equal rights, free markets, great pay,
first amendment rights to free speech, assembly and petition, and so much more!

Now, will someone will please tell this to the "news" media and the presidential candidates. Thank you. That is all.


Well, not quite all -- this scene from Eddie Murphy's film The Distinguished Gentlemen says it better than I can:

Tommy O'Connor (the lobbyist, over lunch): Listen, I'd like to do more money for you -- I just need to know your positions on a few issues. [takes out a pen and leather notecard case.] For instance, where are you on sugar price supports?

Tommy (Eddie Murphy, as a new Congressman, pauses for thought): Sugar price supports. Where do you think I should be, Tommy?

O'Connor: Sh*t -- makes no difference to me. If you're for 'em, I got money for you from my sugar producers in Louisiana and Hawaii. If you're against 'em, I got money for you from the candy manufacturers.

Tommy: You pick.

O'Connor: [writing] Let's put you down as for. Now what about putting limits on malpractice awards?

Tommy: You tell me.

O'Connor: Well, if you're for 'em, I got money from the doctors and insurance companies. If you're against 'em, I got money from the trial lawyers. Tell you what, let's say against. Now how about pizza?

Tommy: (indicating his plate) I'll stick with the salad.

O'Connor: Not for lunch, shm*ck, for PAC money. A lot of the frozen pizzas use phony cheese. There's a law pending requiring them to disclose it on their labels. Where do you stand?

Tommy: (Thinks for a moment) If I vote for the labels... then I get money from the dairy industry...

O'Connor: Good...

Tommy: And if I vote against the labels, I get money from the frozen food guys.

O'Connor: Excellent! And don't forget the ranchers, because they get hurt if pepperoni sales go down!

Tommy: [laughing in admiration] A pepperoni lobby. I love this town.

O'Connor: So which is it?

Tommy: F*ck the cheese people. Thanks to them my office smelled like smelt for a week.

O'Connor: All right. For.

Tommy: So tell me -- with all this money on every side, how does anything get done?

O'Connor: It doesn't! That's the genius of the system!

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  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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