Obviously, no reform is possible in isolation. Thereís no way to reduce
the power of lobbyists without first revamping the American system of campaign
finance. The cost of running for office is so high --about $500,000 on
average to make a run for the House and more than $5 million to run for
the Senate-- that candidates spend much of their time grubbing for money.
Since lobbyists are among the few people in Washington who can afford to
attend three to four fundraisers a week at $500 a head, they receive much
of the candidatesí attention. Howard Marlowe, a past president of the American
League for Lobbyists, says politicians and lobbyists have a "mutual addiction":
"They need us for money and we need them to help our clients. We donít
get access due to our ability or our knowledge of the issues, we get it
with money. As a result, we spend way too much time trying to figure out
how to buy access."