In this political town, many of us know lobbyists. They are our neighbors. Some may be friends. They don't bite, at least not often. Even if some ply their trade on behalf of noxious causes, they do so because they have expertise that helps represent various clients.
Even so, President Barack Obama continues to bar lobbyists from participating in his administration, or so he claims. It's a nice concept.
But the ban, while not fictional, has many back doors, as became apparent once again with the recent appointment of Sacramento's own Karen Ross as chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Without a doubt, Ross is qualified. As Michael Doyle of the McClatchy Washington Bureau pointed out on Saturday, Ross has been president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers since 1996.
Ross hasn't been a registered lobbyist for several years. But the wine grape growers do lobby, spending about $300,000 on lobbying since 2007.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.