A quick skim through any of the "inside-Washington" print papers--Roll Call, Politico, The Hill, Congressional Quarterly, and National Journal Daily--shows an unprecedented number of ads aimed directly at lawmakers and staffers. This is a time-honored way for interests to demonstrate they are paying attention to even the smallest legislative burps. The ads also prove that they are willing to put their money where their point is.
The super committee's work only heightens the drama. Lobbyists of all stripes must be on the lookout for cuts to anything. (In past years, they had easier jobs; they just had to stalk appropriators.) ...
For people (admittedly, those like me) who whine that lawmakers aren't engaged in substantive policy, the ads tell a different story; they illustrate that lobbyists are engaging Congress and the administration on a range of complicated and specific issues. The dialogue is a reminder that writing laws is serious business, even if the public's opinion of elected officials is at an all-time low.