Representatives in Legislature Are Already Well-Paid
Representatives in Legislature Are Already Well-Paid Lobbyists


I strongly disagree with the editorial opinion of the Free Lance encouraging Hollister and San Benito County to hire a lobbyist to represent our interests in Sacramento (“Lobbyist Would Help Get Our Piece of Pie,” March 14).

We already have powerful and well-paid lobbyists in place; all we need is to demand they do a better job. As of December, our lobbyists were to make more than $113,000 a year and $138 per diem for each day the Legislature was in session. In 2005, New York state was in second place, paying almost 28 percent less.

Our lobbyists are Assemblywoman Anna M. Caballero and Senator Jeffery Denham. They have more power than any mere lunch-buying lawyer; they have votes, staff and parliamentary tactics specifically designed to protect the minority.

Assemblywoman Caballero is on four important committees; Senator Denham is on five.

Other legislators come to them daily seeking support; it’s their job to lobby for us – fairly, aboveboard, and in the best interests of the nation, the state, and their districts.

Other lobbyists are just a hidden tax on every citizen and they only exist because those who are supposed to represent us allow them to work behind the scenes, too often following in their footsteps or firms for personal gain. They are the special interests we all complain about; becoming part of the problem will not cure it. Does anyone really believe we can hire more or better lobbyists than Los Angeles?

Above all, our elected representatives want to keep their well-paying and prestigious jobs; it is only when they are faced with losing those jobs that we’re going to get their attention.

Local governments should give every county resident pre-stamped envelopes addressed to Anna Caballero and Jeff Denham so they can express their disappointment and tell them that if they do not do better in the future, they will be voted out of office.

That will save the high cost of hiring a lobbyist and it’s also likely to be more effective in the long run without perpetuating the current corrupt system.

Marty Richman


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