So where did this desire for a Personal Lobbyist come from?
First off, I neither like nor trust either party. They are out there for themselves, their self perpetuation and control of power. Serving the people became secondary a long time ago.
Who is out there for me?
My CEO took me to Lansing for our industry’s Legislative Days one spring. Over that 2 days I came to better understand that our Trade Organization’s primary role was to advocate for the industry and keep the members informed about all things legislative and political. They are the industry’s Lobbyist. I came to a deeper appreciation of the needs Lobbyists fulfill, not only for their members, but also for the legislators.
The Main Event:
We met the first morning in the dining hall of the legislative building. The Trade Organization educated us; What legislation was being considered; What our interests were; What our positions should be; Talking Points; What we should tell our legislators and why; etc, etc. Then, come lunch time, all the legislators and their staff were invited to have lunch with and on us. They came and found their geographical constituents and we talked.
We told them what we cared about and why. They listened and ate. They told us their position and why, if they had one.
What is truly scary is how obvious it was that if we weren’t there to tell them our concerns how unlikely it is that they would ever have had a clue about what these things meant to us. Some times they didn’t even know about pending legislation.
This is not a slam against the legislators.
It is more a commentary on the continually simmering and changing stewpot of legislation that they are never really given enough time to grasp. Particularly given the term limits our state has. It means that legislators become dependent on bureaucrats, enduring staff, party functionaries and Lobbyists.
How many days a year do the legislators repeat this free lunch with different constituents?
I came away knowing I wanted the same thing.
I wanted someone to advocate for me and help keep me informed.
I am willing to pay for it.
I want a professional.
I want a Personal Lobbyist.
So I can’t afford a Personal Lobbyist all by myself.
Which means it will have to be a ménage á ……….. lot.
Surely there are at least several thousand like minded centrist is the State of Michigan? Folks with a bit of a political jones, striving to be militantly middle of the road. People who would subscribe to a service to help keep them/us informed. A service that would listen to us, advocate for us, educate us. Throw in some pac money and we could be a force to be reckoned with.
So how many rabid centrists does it take to support a Lobbyist? At what subscription rate? Can subscribers also be local ‘stringers’? Won’t you like to be more informed about local and more obscure elections? It really can’t be more difficult than starting a church. Certainly there are a lot of yeahbuts, but there always are. They can be worked through.
While I am interested in a lot, and probably interested in things I don’t even know about, off the top, the two things I most want to get a handle on are at the state level: Term Limits and nationally: Exchange Rates.
So who wants to start a lobbying organization for those of us who want to be involved and are tired of the crap and the wingers on both sides. We can skip the parties and advocate for the common ground. A whole industry will spring up as others follow our example.
Where are the flags? Where is the parade?