Unintended Consequences

President Obama’s Executive Order on lobbying and government service has not attracted too much notice or debate in the think tank community.   A very likely unintended consequence is that evasion of lobbying rules will increase as people seek to avoid registering.   In other words, people will do the things that lobbyists do but not officially register as a lobbyist so as to keep their employment opportunities open down the road.  That’s a general problem in terms of efforts to use transparency to regulate lobbying and increase sunlight in government, but also a risk for the think tank world in terms of its brand.    In the past, some of the darker corners and less transparent locales of the think tank world, broadly defined, have been home to some of this sort of stuff anyway.  It, unfortunately, wouldn’t be surprising to see an increase.

One Reply to “Unintended Consequences”

  1. True enough. But that effect should be strongly dominated by a decline in lobbying among people who want government jobs down the line.

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