The phenomenon of “regulatory capture” wherein private interests seize control of the policymaking apparatus for their own interests is a real one. And it’s a significant problem for progressive policy, and conservative critics of progressive reform often wield it as part of the rhetoric of reaction. But one of the biggest flaws with the conservative movement in America, and thus one of the biggest impediments to making American public policy better, is that instead of using its acute awareness of this problem to focus on ameliorating it, conservatives consistently act to deliberately make it worse.
Today’s profile in shame, Representative Darryl Issa of California:
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants the oil industry, drug manufacturers and other trade groups and companies to tell him which Obama administration regulations to target this year.
The incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee – in letters sent to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks last month – requested a list of existing and proposed regulations that would harm job growth.
But a partial list obtained by POLITICO includes ones sent Dec. 13 to Duke Energy, the Association of American Railroads, FMC Corp., Toyota and Bayer. Others receiving inquiries from Issa over the course of the month included the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) and entities representing health care and telecommunication providers.
This is why we can’t have nice things.