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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The members of the American League of Lobbyists have decided that they don’t want to be lobbyists anymore.

No, the nation’s largest lobbying group doesn’t plan to change its widely hated profession. But its members have voted to change their organization’s name: They are now the Association of Government Relations Professionals.

The Center for Public Integrity Reports:

The change comes after 83 percent of the group’s voting membership backed the new moniker during a vote conducted from Oct. 15 through Friday. It also considered calling itself the National Association of Government Relations Professionals and the Government Relations Professionals Association.

“ALL has always been a big tent organization, and I am excited that our new name will better reflect that reality,” said Monte Ward, the group’s president and president of Advanced Capitol Consulting.

Ward added that the rebranded group aims to foster “open and transparent debates in the formulation of public policy” and ensure “the highest ethical standards are practiced by all in the broader government relations profession.”

The shift to a less politically charged name does make sense from a public relations perspective; lobbyists have long been among the least popular actors in Washington. In fact, according to a Public Policy Polling survey from January, lobbyists pulled off the profoundly embarrassing feat of being 18 percent less popular than Congress.

The negative publicity may be having a negative effect on the bottom line of said “government relations professionals.” According to the Center for Responsive Politics, yearly lobbying spending is steadily declining from the 2010 high of $3.55 billion.

AFP Photo/Adek Berry

Democratic nominee Joe Biden speaking in Manitowoc, WI

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Today in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Joe Biden spoke about the toll of coronavirus, which has now officially passed 200,000. "What worries me now is we've been living with this pandemic for so long, I worry we're risking becoming numb to the toll that it's taken on us," the Democratic nominee warned. "We can't let that happen."

How did that happen? How did America lose 200,000 people to a horrendous death, with no end in sight? That tragedy can be traced directly to a vacuum of leadership in the White House, as Biden remarked. But he also saw behind that lack of presidential fortitude to its deeper cause: Donald Trump simply never cared how many of us die and he still doesn't. The evidence is in Trump's own behavior at his "superspreader rallies" – where he always protects himself while leaving his own followers to risk illness and worse.

Watch Biden describe the moral emptiness inside this president.