A strength of any reform discussion is careful attention to the role of campaign finance in lobbying activity. Critics of standard reform proposals complain that “insiders” are attempting to regulate the political activity of “outsiders”, but this objection has less force when campaign finance restrictions fall more heavily on the insiders – – on legislators and the lobbyists who may build relationships with them by raising and giving campaign money.
So Senator Michael Bennet, supported by the reform community, has developed a bill entitled the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2015, which pursues reform objectives from the "inside." It would expand the number of those who are required to register as lobbyists, and it would limit the influence they amass through the fundraising known as bundling. And the Members of Congress that they lobby could not solicit them for contributions when Congress is in legislative session. The focus here is on campaign finance as a lubricant of successful lobbying, and on any temptation in official circles to link the performance of the public’s business to campaign support.
The next question is-- how would this reform, if enacted, work, and how effective would it be in meeting the goals set for it?