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lundi 22 janvier 2007

Regulate AstroTurf lobbying

When 'grass-roots' campaigns are the product of lobbyists, members of Congress should know about it. A MEMBER OF Congress will sit up and pay attention when told that 1,000 — or even 100 — constituents have written or e-mailed about a particular piece of legislation. Paying attention to grass-roots opinion is part of a politician's DNA.

But what if the voice of the people is really only an echo of a sophisticated pitch by professional lobbyists? In that not-uncommon situation, "grass-roots" lobbying of Congress has been dubbed the political equivalent of AstroTurf, the artificial grass first installed in the Houston Astrodome in 1966.

Los Angeles Times

jeudi 18 janvier 2007

Reality Check: Senate Bill S.1 Poses No Threat To Bloggers

My colleague Mitch Wagner and some other journalists have picked up on a report by an organization called Grass Roots Freedom that a Senate bill designed to bring transparency to the lobbying process could result in the jailing of political bloggers. Did you know that the bill does not even mention the words "blog" or "blogger"? There's also a couple of things you should know about "Grass Roots Freedom."