25 April 2013

A Symptom of the Problem

The Nevada Assembly passed Tuesday, and sent to the Senate (who sent to committee on Wednesday), a bill requiring a “cooling-off” period between the time a State Legislator leaves office and the time said former legislator becomes a paid lobbyist.

It passed the Assembly 40-1 with 1 vacant seat.

As I tweeted last night, I oppose this measure on principle. The chief principle being, that if our legislators had principles, lobbyists would never exist.

I’ve written before (although I can’t find it now) that the way our Republic ideally should work is that each candidate should say, essentially, either “I want the Government to take care of you,” or “I want the Government to leave you alone.” Then the elected representatives would stick to that principle on all proposed laws and policies. Rather than a representative saying “you sent me here, what should I do?” they’d say “you sent me here to do this, and that is what I’ll do.” Therefore, lobbying would be ineffective.

Idealism aside, I oppose the idea of a “cooling-off” period. Either the practice should be banned outright, or it should be unrestricted. It is illogical to have people wait a few months. It is even more illogical to make exceptions such as those included in Amendment No. 565 (which partially appears as Subsection 2 of Section 1 of the bill as passed by the Assembly).

I was going to conclude with a comment about sending this post to my State Senator, but realized that was against my principles. HA!