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Interesting reading, compliments of USA Today:

SEATTLE — Wearing his trademark bow tie, Eric Ellman goes to work every day prepared to explain why identity theft isn't as big a threat as people think. His logic has often found friendly ears in Washington, D.C., where Ellman, a lobbyist for the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), champions the interests of the Big Three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

The CDIA has been scrambling for two years to get federal lawmakers to defuse the onrush of state laws empowering consumers to freeze access to their credit histories to prevent identity theft. It spent a record $1.4 million on federal lobbying in 2006, nearly double what it spent in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

But a funny thing has happened outside the nation's capital. More states have begun requiring companies to notify consumers when their personal data turn up missing — and states are ordering the credit bureaus to make it easier for consumers to ban anyone from viewing their credit files. By the end of this year, more than 35 states will have such laws; a few years ago, barely a handful did.

When this trend began to gather steam in 2005, the CDIA deployed Ellman on a series of trips to Montana to dissuade lawmakers from adopting one of the nation's most pro-consumer credit-freeze laws. "He was here so often, I jokingly told him he should start paying state income tax," says Claudia Clifford, Montana-based lobbyist for AARP, a staunch consumer advocate for freezes...

Obviously, if it works FOR the consumer, it must be stopped.

MadamHusker 1

~ Thinks banning most lobbyists from ALL levels of government would probably be a good idea.

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