Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Saturday, November 12, 2011 :::

Lawmakers often contact federal agencies directly in an attempt to influence where money is spent, a practice often dubbed “lettermarking” or “phonemarking.”

The messages from members of Congress are not typically made public, though the press sometimes obtains them through Freedom of Information Act requests. Several lawmakers have been embarrassed when their letters asking for federal funds were disclosed under FOIA, undercutting their stated positions of wanting to cut government spending.

The draft memo from the Obama administration could make disclosure of lettermarking and phonemarking routine — a possibility welcomed by watchdog groups, but feared by lobbyists who make their living off the appropriations process.
Good for the administration. The sole objection mentioned in the article is
Howard Marlowe, president of the American League of Lobbyists, said his group is concerned that if the memo were issued, it would lead to constituents not asking for congressional help.

“What concerns the American League of Lobbyists about this proposal is its potential to deter constituents from asking their federal-elected officials to support their needs. That is the right of every American that is guaranteed by the Constitution,” Marlowe said.
It's certainly their right to do so, and there are probably some cases in which their Congressmen should support them. But I'd like Marlowe to offer an example of a situation in which this support is appropriate and in which privacy is essential.


::: posted by Steven at 2:04 PM

Comments: Post a Comment

Comment Policy

Dollars and Jens
Steven's web-site

Kitchen Cabinet
Colby Cosh
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Corner
The Bleat from James Lileks
Tim Blair
Daily Ablution
Mickey Kaus
Dave Barry
How Appealing
Virginia Postrel
Reason's "Hit and Run"
Captain's Quarters
Roger L. Simon
Power Line
IWF's InkWell
Blogs for Bush
Chetly Zarko
Signifying Nothing
Cosmo Macero
Hub Blog
Ex Parte from Harvard Law's Federalists
Harvard CR blog
Priorities & Frivolities
Daley News
Emil Levitin
Politica Obscura
Wave Maker
Town Watch
Worcester County Repubs

Election '08
Don't Vote
Dave Barry
John McCain

Other Sites of Note
Townhall columnists Cambridge Republican City Committee
Cambridge Chronicle
Robert Winters
Boston Herald
Boston Globe
Boston Metro
Channel 5
Commonwealth Mag
Fox News
Massachusetts Republican Assembly
Robert Benchley Society

U.S. Constitution
9/11 commission report [7 Meg PDF]
Iraq Survey Group report
Fahrenheight 9/11 deceits


Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

Powered by Blogger