“Book Explores How Lobbyists Fill a Void in Congress”

Roll Call:

If you bemoan lobbyists or the revolving door that spins between government service and K Street, blame Congress.

The shift on Capitol Hill to centralize much of the major policymaking in leadership offices, as opposed to committees, along with a reduction in legislative staff and their salaries has helped propel the revolving door in recent years, says Timothy LaPira, a James Madison University professor.

All that has increased demand for plugged-in K Street insiders, even as President Donald Trump has pledged to drain the swamp but has done little to do so.

“There’s a vacuum in Congress right now for that expertise, and we see not only lobbyists but particularly revolving-door lobbyists filling that vacuum,” said LaPira, who is out with a new book this month that offers fresh data on the lobbying industry. “And you’re going to get a less than ideal product.”

LaPira, one of the few academics to study K Street, and co-author Herschel Thomas of the University of Texas at Arlington have packed their book “Revolving Door Lobbying” with years of research on the connections between federal government service, both on the Hill and the executive branch, and lucrative careers downtown.

I just got a copy of this book and hope to write more about it soon.

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