Hill aides for Sen. John Hoeven, a co-chairman the GOP platform committee, have sat in on meetings between lobbyists and Republican officials on the party's platform.
"This is an inclusive process. Anyone who wants to testify is invited to do so," Roussell said of the DNC platform sessions. "This is not the same as closed-door meetings with lobbyists at the RNC."
Public Citizen lobbyist Craig Holman, who has not attended any of the RNC sessions, criticized the Republicans for being overly cozy with hired guns.
"Republicans this time around are really focusing on integrating K Street with the Republican Party," Holman said.
He said it helps the party forge ties with corporate executives who direct their companies' political spending.
"Working with K Street lobbyists in trying to develop the party platform is just one more part of that strategy," Holman said. "It provides lobbyists with immediate direct and disproportionate access to pursue their clients' interest."
But Kukowski stressed that the lobbyists and other outside participants were not writing the party's platform and instead are simply offering policy ideas. "We cast a wide net," she said.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.