Friday, July 19, 2019
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and other leading Democratic presidential candidates have sworn off contributions from Washington lobbyists as a way to insulate themselves from those who might try to shape their agendas if elected. But they're hardly walling themselves off from K Street.
People who oversee teams of lobbyists or work on corporate advocacy campaigns often don't meet that definition and have been donating heavily to the frontrunners. Others have found it's easy to stay below the 20 percent threshold since they can quickly text or email the lawmakers they hope to influence. The slippery definition of lobbying means that barring lobbyists from contributing isn't an especially effective way for campaigns to keep K Street at bay.
The Biden, Warren, Harris and Buttigieg campaigns didn't directly answer questions about why they won't take money from registered lobbyists but will accept it from those who work in other sectors of the influence business.
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