Being John Lobbyist

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Joel Stein at Time goes undercover as a lobbyist-for-a-day (well, "advocate" actually, according one of the Representatives he lobbies) and sadly finds no occasion to deploy the $100 bills he stuffs in his pocket. Silly rabbit, you give those out over cocktails!

Stein participates in a lobby day organized by the Afterschool Alliance, where non-lobbyists get training in advocating for their issue, then go visit several offices at the Capitol. Between competing for facetime with Alzheimer's lobbyists, playing fast and loose with statistics, and trying to get milk and cookies for Senator Sam Brownback, Stein gets his fill of Capitol and claims he feels "engaged with democracy."

As well he should. Lobbying, or "advocating" should be about talking to elected officials, arguing your case, and asking for their support. Campaign contributions have mucked up the works and skewed the lobbying process in favor of those with deep pockets.