I've never gone to lunch with a lobbyist. We've made it a policy... I bring my own lunch everyday to work, I don't allow lobbyists to buy meals for me and I haven't spent a lot of time with them. It's one of the reasons why in Lansing, I'm not that popular among the lobbying community because I haven't spent personal time with them.
Next time you see your state legislator--either a House or Senate member--ask them how many times a lobbyist had bought them a meal.
Check the above quote from Gov. Jennifer Granholm in the blog-Blogging For Michigan--where she says she never let a lobbyist buy her lunch during her eight years in office. She brings her own lunch to work, she says.
What about it? How effectively can a lobbyist get a lawmaker's ear by buying a meal every month or so? We are not talking a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.
It's usually a real nice place with an expensive meal and maybe a few drinks and solid one-on-one face time with a special interest.
The lobbyist picks up the bill.
Should lawmakers be required to report each meal? List the lobbyist and the issues discussed. Would it help?
Is there a positive justification for a lobbyist to buy a lawmaker a meal? Isn't part of a lobbyist's job to educate?
Can that be done effectively in a hour meeting in the office?