Confessions of a Lobbyist

Our reporter spends a day learning tricks of the trade in the hallways of the Capitol

Illustration by John Ueland for TIME

Lobbyists, The Presidential candidates tell us, have become so powerful that they are destroying our democracy. This, of course, makes me want to become a lobbyist. As it turns out, the Afterschool Alliance, which asks the government to fund children's programs, invited me into its Leadership Circle. So I recently joined more than 500 program administrators, educators and policymakers from around the country to walk the halls of Congress and ask Representatives and Senators not to pass the cuts to the No Child Left Behind Act that President George W. Bush has proposed. Not knowing precisely how lobbying worked, I loaded...

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