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    09.18.16 In Letter to The Washington Post, Dean Nick Allard Explains “How to Better Regulate the Lobbyists”
    Dean Allard

    In a Letter to the Editor published in The Washington Post Sept. 16, Dean Nick Allard points out that the approach taken by the White House to more strictly enforce lobbying practices ignores a set of suggestions provided by the American Bar Association’s task force on how best to regulate the practice. Allard was responding to the newspaper’s Sept. 12 editorial “Fewer registrations in thriving influence industry.”

    Allard, who served on the ABA task force, believes the White House and the president’s chief lobbying-ethics guru have taken a “misguided and disingenuous” approach, one that “links penalties, additional burdens and restrictions to those and only those who honestly comply with the law and register as lobbyists.”

    “This approach,” Allard writes, “coupled with lax enforcement, exacerbated the sharp decline in disclosure. The ABA report offered a balanced discussion, including such critical matters as the rule that says people must register only if they spend more than 20 percent of their time lobbying. The task force recommended specific steps to improve lobbying regulation. And the task force, including its lobbyist members, recommended restrictions on fundraising by lobbyists. The White House never did that.”

    Allard is the President and Joseph Crea Dean, and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. He also serves as Senior Counsel in the Public Policy and Regulation practice at Dentons, a global law firm with presence in more than 50 countries. Before joining the Law School in 2012, Allard served as chair of the Public Policy Department and co-chair of the Government Advocacy Practice Group at Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as one of D.C.’s “Top Lobbyists” by The Hill from 2008 to 2011.

    Read the letter.