Ask a Lobbyist: Lady Pelosi's Pearls
Every week, our Anonymous Lobbyist answers your questions about how laws get made and why they probably shouldn't.
This week: Some things are worth more than money. Other things, not so much.
Say some rich young guy wanted you to lobby Senator A for a specific line item in an Omnibus spending thingy... Because he's rich and young, would you gladly accept a pearl necklace in payment?
Like, are we talking an actual necklace made of pearls, or the whole ejaculating on my neck thing? Because even Lady Pelosi's Tahitian pearls can be had for less than $10K, and I'm not sure how letting some guy jack on my neck is considered compensation for me, regardless of how young, rich or even hot he is. Besides which, the watch I'm wearing? I bought it.. And what good is jewelry if my 401K can't get me through retirement? It's all about the benjamins, baby. So, I'm happy to take a string of pearls, but not as payment for some lobbying work. As for a pearl necklace, well, that's a discussion between me and my date tonight, or for a different kind of column.
Seriously though, are you amenable to doing one-off lobbying on the side if the price is right? If you are, what is the price?
Well, generally speaking, lobbyists do have non-compete contracts, and it would be a bit hard to get my actual work done during the day and work another issue on the side. Despite the schmooze and booze circuit that takes up most of my nights, the people (read: staff) that really get the earmarks or legislation written like to go home/out drinking at night, too, and not spend their nights slaving away in some cubicle writing legislation for me. So, I could, do some one-off lobbying on the side, but getting caught might mean my job. If you wanted to hire my company, though, one-off issue lobbying is fine and not a small part of a given shop's business.
That said, the price of approps lobbying is going through the roof (thanks, David!) Because of the whole earmark scrutiny thing, it's far more effort to get one put in and keep it in, so lobbyists can totally charge more for trying. If I can get enough of those little one-off lobbying gigs for $15-20K a pop, I can start my own consulting firm anyway, which is how most Hill staffers and lobbyists strike out on their own. So, maybe not a bad call after all. Email me and we'll talk..
What do you love about your work? If money is at or near the top, what are some other things?
Well, money is definitely at the top of the list of things I love, but I could apparently, make more money doing something else. The difference is that I can make decent money as a lobbyist not working particularly hard or doing anything truly distasteful (like sucking this guy's shriveled cock) or difficult (like pretending I liked it). Lobbying combines my interests in making money, not working too hard, drinking on someone else's dime and not spending my days as a desk jockey shuffling paper from my In- to my Outbox. But I wouldn't say I love anything other than the money. I just really like my alcoholic, well-compensated slacking and doing anything else would require effort and energy.
As a male I sometimes think that it is easier for an attractive woman to get in the door with a Congressman, but once in the door it is easier for a man to be taken seriously. (After all what else are you going to do with a man?) What do you think?
Well, what am I going to do with a man? I can think of plenty of things to do with a man, as can Barney.
But what you're assuming is that a Congress member takes anyone seriously. Look, the only things they take seriously are campaign checks, and they don't care if I deliver it or if you do. With 30,000 lobbyists in Washington, they pretty much think we're all ill-informed bullshit artists (after all, it takes one to know one) and they're only listening to anything either of us says out of politeness, a desire for a campaign contribution, and/or in order to pick up some talking points they can use later without having to do any work or research. So I don't think it's easier for me to get in the door, or for you to get taken seriously. I know that they're not paying attention to what either of us is saying anyway. I just hope that they'll associate what I'm saying with the view down my shirt, so that they'll subconsciously retain what I said along with the memory of my tits. It's my version of subliminal advertising.