A member of Congress should be making decisions on whether they should vote or cosponsor a bill based on whether it’s the right thing to do, not whether it’ll harm or benefit their bank account. Lobbyists can hold as many meetings as they want with members of Congress, but their campaign money shouldn’t influence how they vote.

Marlowe ends his op-ed by stating, “Either we act now or we risk another big scandal that will trigger a new round of 'reforms' and public vilification. You are dead wrong if you think it can’t get any worse for our profession.”

If he’s truly concerned about rehabilitating the image of lobbying — and the public perception of our broken Congress — then Marlowe and his colleagues should endorse legislation like the Fair Elections Now Act.

Sponsored in the House by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), and Walter Jones (R-N.C.), the Fair Elections Now Act would sever the ties between members of Congress and big campaign contributors—be they lobbyists or the clients they represent. With Fair Elections, members of Congress wouldn’t have to grovel to lobbyists, and lobbyists could spend that cash on something else.

With Fair Elections, candidates can run competitive campaigns for office by relying on a blend of small dollar donations, and matching system that would amplify the voice of these small donors. Congress needs lobbyists, but America needs politicians that are beholden to the people that elected them, not the K Street denizens that fill their campaign bank accounts.

Nick Nyhart is the president and CEO of Public Campaign.