The Direction clause, with the Solicitation clause,
will keep lobbying under control by removing private transaction from politics.
Politics, trying to influence how people vote or govern, is part of governance.
Whenever you conduct politics from outside of government
you are either campaigning or lobbying.
Direct lobbying targets officers; grassroots lobbying targets the general public.
Lobbying may not be publicly funded.
Under these clauses,
lobbyists may not use private transactions (money, presents, benefits, or promises)
to influence public conduct.
The public conduct of ordaining and establishing United States government
by election, appointment, and Acts,
and that of governing the direction of United States officers’ public conduct,
must be solely financed by the United States.
Section 1 applies this to elections and appointments,
removing the possibility that private conduct will direct the people’s self-governance decisions.
This section addresses political aspects
of the exercise of government offices and of candidacy,
removing the possibility that private conduct will direct government officers’ decisions.
The public’s payment of officers’ salaries covers all aspects of their work
to guard against private influence over United States actions or decisions, or any component of them.
Article I, Section 6:
“The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services,”
Article II, Section 1:
“The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation,”
Article III, Section 1:
“The Judges […] shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation,”
The Direction clause details the Constitution's Compensation clauses,
existing provisions regarding compensation for United States offices.
Corruption cases have been difficult to prosecute
because the Constitution's direct mention of corruption is limited to:
and the definition of bribery has since been whittled down to something all but useless.
But the Constitution is clear that only the United States may pay for any part of officers’ services.
In conjunction with Section 3’s Access clause (see Balancing the Legislative Agenda),
the Direction clause can be used to create a civil-service pool for Congressional staffers.
Congressional staff not only control access to members, they sometimes draft legislation.
The practice of hiring non-civil-service staffers lets private interests place people in members’ offices.
Even when not, they're subject to the revolving door,
offered jobs lobbying the same Senator or Representative after a couple of years.
The direction of exercising an office
– which way a decision is made, or how to respond to the public –
is part of officers’ services.
No directional guidance may be privately funded.
Lobbying can’t include privately-funded provision of any part of officers’ jobs such as
There’s no reason why the United States government can’t perform these functions for itself.
We already pay our officers, and a compelling state interest certainly exists.
Nor can officers’ own fact-gathering, etc., be privately funded.
Of course, not everything is best done by the government.
The distinctions will be made by the courts.
This amendment is the classic example of something Congress has demonstrated it can’t do:
because of sometimes conflicting personal interest, its own attempts at political process reform
are seldom adequate and sometimes counterproductive.
But they’ll still have to do their own fact-gathering, hearings and debate on it.
The Constitution addresses the bureaucracy in Article II, Section 2:
"The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States [...];
[s/]he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments,
upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, [...]."
"[...] [s/]he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,
shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court,
and all other Officers of the United States,
whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law;
but the Congress may by law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think Proper,
in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."
The bureaucracy is the hardest part of government to hold directly accountable.
Hired civil servants have been called employees rather than officers.
But the Constitution calls them inferior officers. Every employee of the government is an officer.
This amendment applies to them.
The bureaucracy, the network of government offices under the President's Cabinet and Cabinet-level offices
whose job under the Constitution is to enact and enforce particular areas in the law,
has accumulated a great deal of power to make policies that act like laws,
reducing Congress' procedure in some areas to nearly a rubber stamp.
Sometimes this leads to overregulation, sometimes to underregulation.
The term lobbying is less often applied to them.
The equivalent is called the "Iron Triangle".
Party is involved in this,
as is privatization of government functions to reduce accountability to the people.
But the "Iron Triangle" lobbies the bureaucracy and places people in it,
always working to shut down regulation while its opponents, reform organizations and unions,
use some of the very same methods to regulate them more tightly.
Both sides have needs and rights. Neither is justified in abusing our political process.
Compromise is never easy, seldom completely satisfies anyone,
and has to be periodically revisited, reassessed and refought,
but that's the method we chose and no better one has ever been discovered.
This amendment will hold the bureaucracy and those who lobby it to our national ethical standards
More will ultimately be needed,
but until the public's rights and powers in the political process are repaired and restored
nothing attempted beyond this will be effective.