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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

New blood

This is a little scary:

The final days of this year’s legislative session will see more than a dozen veteran legislators ending their Statehouse careers, setting up the Indiana House to have more than three dozen of its 100 members in their first or second terms when lawmakers next return.

The loss of hundreds of years of experience in the House — including the top Republican and Democratic budget writers — has some worried that paid lobbyists could gain an even heftier role within the General Assembly.

[. . .]

“Folks who are new, I think, tend to be really dependent on lobbyists because they haven’t been around a while to learn about the issues,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director for the government watchdog group Common Cause Indiana. “I do think that newcomers suffer from an information void, and lobbyists are more than happy to fill it.”

On the other hand, one-third is a big segment. If all those first- and second-termers decided to stick together, they could have some clout, possibly enough to change the way some things get done. I'd say there's more of a danger of newbies getting sucked into the same old evil ways when there are just a few of them rather than a lot of them.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 6:43pm

Lobbyists are at Indianapolis to promote IDEAS from different groups of people or businesses from both sides of the political aisle.  They also support politicians FINANCIALLY.  Why are funds distributed to politicians from lobbyists?  I'll give three examples that I see.

1 - Lobbyists thanked politicians for voting for something that both supported anyway.

2 - Lobbyists paid politicians to vote a certain way even though the politicians were opposed to the legislation.

3 - Politicians used extortion to receive funds from lobbyists to support bills that legislators were ambivalent about.

Sometimes it's hard to tell why somebody voted for someting.

The new Hoosier legislators will bring enthusiasm and possibly a copy of the Indiana Constitution with them.