The Daily Beast

The Gucci Gulch Returns and Lobbyists Are Going Wild

Getty

It’s a modern-day gold rush in Washington as special interests converge on the Congress and lawmakers jockey for their share of member-directed spending, formerly known as earmarks, that allows members to claim goodies they can bring home to the voters.

These congressional favors, back and rebranded after a 10-year ban prompted by wretched excess, a misuse of taxpayer money, and outright criminal corruption are expected to smooth the way forward in a new era of deal-making for lawmakers and lobbyists alike to get a piece of Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

“Member-directed is the new vernacular,” says Paul Equale, a former Democratic lobbyist. “It’s about bringing home the bacon and getting credit for it.” That simple premise is at the heart of a representative democracy, but bridges to nowhere and golf courses with no redeeming social value ended the practice. Only a third of today’s House members and fewer than half the senators were around for those glory days of personalized largesse.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Continue

About the author

Jay

Leave a Comment