Should Lobbyists Skip the Metal Detectors at the Capitol?

January 26 2010, 2:07 PM

Liston, LarryAdd House Bill 1092 to the debate over whether lobbyists have too much influence on legislation. The bill, from state Representative Larry Liston, would allow lobbyists to bypass people standing in security lines each morning at the state Capitol building, writes 9News, which reports that lobbyists would undergo a background check and pay a fee of no more than $300 for the right to show a photo identification instead of going through metal detectors. "There's never been an incident that I know of or anyone can think of where a member of the lobby has created an incident," claims Liston, a Colorado Springs Republican. At least one lobbyist opposes the bill.

"Surely we lobbyists have a role to play, but the citizens have a powerful role, as well, and we shouldn't be creating special access," says Jenny Flanagan, director of Colorado Common Cause, a group that works to reduce the influences of special interests in government. Meanwhile, despite the recession, 2010 is shaping up to be a financial boon for politics. Special interests, stealth political groups, and candidates have already amassed millions of dollars in donations, according to The Denver Post.