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Lobbyists Trying to Hide in Plain Sight at the DNC

by Eric Encarnacion

Over the last month, we've talked about the pervasive corporate presence at the national conventions and the ways that big-money special interests will try to influence politicians through their stomachs and their general taste for the good life. Now, with the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week, the evidence is in: Corporations and their lobbyists are throwing lavish parties for lawmakers. They're hard to miss, as the mainstream media has started covering them.

As ABC News has highlighted in its "Money Trail" segments, corporate lobbyists are sparing no expense in wining and dining our elected officials. Many are skirting new Congressional ethics rules with a wink and a nod. Top Denver chefs are preparing special dishes -- even inventing special spoons and flatware! -- so that dinners can qualify for a loophole in congressional ethics rules. Concerts and shows are being restructured on paper so that they're classified as "charity events" (complete with exclusive side entrances for elected officials!).

Two videos from ABC News provide a great overview. Featured in the clips are our friend Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation and our very own ethics expert, Craig Holman.

So what can you do to help keep our leaders focused on voters rather than corporate special interests? Learn more and take action at SayNoToLobbyists.org.


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