The NC General Assembly started its short, even-year session Wednesday, which meant lobbyists started flocking to the Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh on Jones Street again. Our Wednesday story started like this:
"Swank steakhouses, stock up. Big-time lobbyists, polish up those Gucci loafers....The North Carolina legislature gavels into session today."
That prompted an e-mail from Ken Eudy, CEO of Capstrat, the communications firm:
"I haven’t lobbied in years, but it strikes me that perpetuating the lobbyist-in-Gucci-loafer myth, as y’all did today, is a slur. Sort of like calling a person of Arab descent a towelhead.
"You guys know, or should know, that the majority of lobbyists get away from 'the building' as fast as they can to get to their kids’ soccer practice, to choir rehearsal or to the emails that accumulate when they’re out of the office. They’re not overrunning the steakhouses.
"It was a tired, pejorative stereotype that gives your readers a false, negative impression. Come on."
Some of our best friends are lobbyists. For sure, lobbyists dress better than reporters. But that's not saying much.