Ezra Klein puts the K Street under the microscope:
In many cases, the lobbyist actually is the politician’s friend. She is his former staffer, or a colleague he used to see three times a week at the congressional gym. After all, there are any number of wealthy, well-connected people who might like to bend a senator’s ear. But senators have limited time and busy schedules. They can’t make space for every supplicant with a thick bill roll and a fat rolodex. And so clever lobbying shops have figured out a way to get to politicians: hire their friends. Hire the people they have already demonstrated an interest in talking to, and accepting counsel from.