Thatís why I do what I do: to make Washington understand the countryís problems. Is the system perfect? Of course not. Most of the problems come down to money. Look, I get that members have to raise a lot of dough, both for their campaigns and for ďdues.Ē But when I finish a meeting with a staff member, and check my phone to find an invitation to his bossís fundraiser before Iíve left Longworth, itís easy to understand why the country holds Congress in such disdain, and why so many on the Hill feel trapped in the system, too.
The elections were two months ago, and already Iíve been invited to several campaign events ó for 2014. Now, Iíve run into some lobbyists who are in business solely because they are prolific fundraisers, but I think they give the profession a bad name. If you took an anonymous poll of lobbyists of all ages, I bet the percentage that favors serious campaign finance changes would blow you away.
But Iím not complaining ó far from it. Iíve learned a great deal as a young lobbyist about how things actually get done in Washington, and the quizzical look I get when I tell people Iím a lobbyist is definitely worth it. My age gives me a number of advantages and insights that older lobbyists simply donít have ó and makes me better at my job in the process.
Mickey Leibner is director of government relations for the Moffett Group.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.