I disagree with you kathy only on the fact that you describe the ideal purpose for having a paid lobbyist.
Even in that situation, they do not need to pay someone or make available loads of dollars and gifts made available through said lobbyists to the politicians.
Like you said, the politicians know where the money is and they know what they have to do to get it.
if you wave a steak in front of a pack of dogs, is it only their fault they come to take it?
or does the person waving the steak around have some responsibility for putting it out there to begin with?
I say fine, if you think paid lobbyists can fulfill the ideal of representing people who don't have the time to mail or otherwise contact the politicians and can track the proposed laws more consistently, I could go for that IF there was a rule saying those paid lobbyists could not wave the steak out to the pack.
eliminate gifts and all the other perks these big time lobbyists offer to the politicians, let them earn their money they get from the NRA and other groups who purport to represent the people at large on certain issues without bribing the politicians.
kinda like immigration discussion, take away the jobs and they will quit coming.
well, take away the money from the politicians offered by the lobbyists and see how much things change.