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Washington Insight

August 02, 1993|PAUL HOUSTON

LOBBY LOGIC: Want to help the little guy? Subsidize lobbyists! So goes the novel pitch of Washington lobbyist Howard Marlowe, who is lobbying members of Congress to keep the income tax deduction for lobbying expenses. President Clinton wants to eliminate the lucrative deduction, saving taxpayers nearly $1 billion over five years, and Congress seems ready to go along in the Administration's deficit-reduction bill. But that hasn't kept lobbyists from fighting furiously--and, in Marlowe's case, inventively--to preserve it. . . . Marlowe, who represents the American Public Gas Assn. among other organizations, wrote lawmakers that killing the deduction "will hurt small businesses and non-wealthy individuals the most" because big corporations and rich individuals "will spend the money to lobby with or without a tax deduction." Meanwhile, he argues, the little guys will have their voices "stifled."

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