In the aftermath of sweeping federal lobbying legislation that became law in 2007, few lobbyists are convinced that the statute made their colleagues more ethical and improved government.
These doubts about the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act are among several concerns lobbyists shared in a survey released Wednesday by The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, research firm Lobbyists.info and market research firm ORI. Not only do less than 21 percent of lobbyists say governance is better and ethical standards for lobbying have improved since 2007, but more than half say their job is more difficult. The survey included responses from 865 lobbyists.
Lobbyists had complaints about their abilities to interact with congressional aides and inform lawmakers under the statute. Most of them said the law, which came as a result of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, has made it more difficult to work with congressional staffers and has hurt Congress in its efforts to acquire the information necessary to make decisions.
But Rehr, a Republican former lobbyist, said he isn't trying to push for tougher lobbying rules through the survey. He said he did the survey to find out what lobbyists thought about the 2007 law.
"The goal of the survey wasn't to be provocative," he said.