Wednesday, May 04, 2005

How about legislative trading cards instead?

This report from the Knoxville News-Sentinel says legislation to require current photographs be included with lobbyist registrations, which would then be posted on the web, has died.

As a visitor at the legislature I understand how hard it is to know who the players are. Legislators wear tiny lapel pins (I guess we're supposed to know who they are) and lobbyist wear ID on lanyards which are frequently turned backwards or hidden by ties or scarves and so rarely allow their ID to actually be read.

I think everyone who works down there ought to wear a big name badge on their shoulder so we'll know immediately who it is we're passing in the halls or talking to and we'll know if they're a legislator, lobbyist, the press or a hard working intern. It shouldn't take an entire session of hit and miss interaction and homework for mere citizens to get the lay of the land in that underground world.

It's little things like this accomodation to lobbyists that is so discouraging to the public concerned about understanding who is really doing what in their capitol.

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