What are some solutions to minimize the effects of corporate lobbying without eliminating the right of lobbying? We know that corporate lobbies have a disproportionate power relative to ordinary citizens, but what are some solutions that were implemented or suggested for it?
I would propose that all lobbyist interactions with elected officials are treated as public communications. No closed doors - if the lobbyist wants to educate a lawmaker on a particular subject, the meeting must be open to the public and on-record. All materials provided to the official must also be made available to the public. This not only provides a forum for interested parties to provide counter points to special interest propaganda, but it also makes expensive retreats nearly impossible if the venue has to allow entrance to the press and the general public.
This also, then, makes unnecessary any restrictions on ex-lawmakers becoming lobbyists as it severely reduces any unfair influence that lobbyists can provide - no private lunches or closed-door meetings between "old friends". An ex-lawmaker's advantage as a lobbyist would be his familiarity with being on the other side of the table, not from his contacts and residual influence (or at least only minimally so).
This does not address campaign contributions, which while often part of the lobbying process, is its own thing. Also, the idea is nascent and nowhere near completely developed, but it provides a solid foundation for moving ahead with meaningful reform.
- New legislation specifically banning corporations from lobbying or donating funds for lobbying.
It would hardly be anything new to separate one element of an individuals rights & make that an acception to the legal rights of companies as legal entities, after all they don't get a vote in elections do they, so the precedent for exceptions to a company's rights as a 'person' is clearly already set.
That doesn't eliminate the right to lobby for real people, but if you meant it to apply to corporations as well as people won't slide under your bar on eliminating the right of lobbying?
- A low legal limit to the $ amount any individual can contribute to political causes or lobbying.
Those are the two obvious ones that spring to mind.
Either of them alone or both together should help (if provided with adequate penalties & enforced).