By Logan Kentner
One of Donald Trump’s key phrases that he coined during his campaign was “drain the swamp.” Although there are several different parts, one of the main issues in the so- called swamp is the lobby. Lobbyists have continued to face more and more scrutiny from the public and, consequently, from candidates seeking public office.
According to dictionary.com a lobbyist is “a person who tries to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest.” Based on this definition, the public has many reasons to blame some of the issues our country is facing on large corporations influencing legislation to benefit them and hurt others. However, there is another side to lobbyists that many people don’t see. Organizations such as the American Cancer Association have active lobbyists who push for many beneficial pieces of legislation.
Today, we spent some of our time with two Drake alumni who are lobbyists. Paul Doucette works for Battelle and Matt Thornblad works for United Technologies. They talked about how complicated their day to day operations are and how important their jobs are within the legislative process. One of the most interesting aspects of their careers is that even though both of their companies are largely based in science, neither of them have any science background.
Although I do agree with some of Donald Trump’s swamp-draining ideas, there are certain parts that are necessary. Lobbying is one of the parts that will remain pertinent. Of course there are always a few bad eggs, but I have experienced so far that some of the swamp will never be drained for very good reasons.