That’s the message a prominent Washington, D.C. lobbyist told the New York Times today when asked what he’s telling his clients about how to influence the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee.”
It isn't just the lobbying bonanza that's worrisome. It's the big money fundraising from corporate and special interests that many members of the supercommittee are doing that could heavily influence the outcome of the deficit reduction deliberations.
Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly in the Times piece: “People want the committee members to make these cuts in a fair and balanced way and be able to say, ‘We listened to all sides, not just our donors.’ ”But it’s hard to make that argument when they’re racing around the country raising money like they’re on a giant Monopoly board.”
Not all members of the supercommittee are guilty of this. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has canceled some events, as has Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has agreed to not schedule any additional fundraisers during the committee's work. And two weeks ago, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) gave up fundraising for himself while the supercommittee does its work.
These are all important steps toward ensuring that the supercommittee comes up with a deficit reduction plan that is good for ordinary Americans and not their big money donors. Public Campaign Action Fund will continue to push members to forgo fundraising during this process. Hopefully then we'll get a balanced plan that doesn't harm already struggling families at the expense of special interests and their bottom line.