The Abramoff-DeLay lobbying scandal has put a detectable dent in business at D.C. restaurants, skyboxes, and other fringe benefits of working in and around Congress, according to the L.A. Times:
Jon Doggett, vice president of public policy for the National Corn Growers Assn., said he offered to take some Capitol Hill staff members to lunch last week, but was told they could not accept lunches from lobbyists anymore. ... [He] lamented lost opportunities to explain "a lot of stuff to a 25-year-old staffer with a political science degree whose [boss] is voting on issues that involve agriculture, and they've never been on a farm."
Dabbing away tears for Mr. Doggett and his lost opportunities, I offer a small suggestion: Make an appointment to explain that stuff at a table in the staffer's office rather than at La Colline. I know it can be done; why, I've done it myself. True, it's possible that the young staffer will fail to take any notes during your explanations. He or she may even yawn in your face, something far less likely to happen over a delicious lunch. But press on; those corn growers are counting on you.