This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor.
I remember seeing a survey once that said one of the reasons Americans don't vote is that they think the real power in politics belongs to special interest groups.
In other words, they excuse themselves from their privilege because they think the fix is in – that someone behind the scenes wields the real power.
But is that a lousy excuse for not voting ... or do the folks who say that know more than we give them credit for?
A small box in today's Wall Street Journal told me that money spent by lobbying firms in Washington had reached new record highs: $2,363,000,000, up more than $200 million from the year before.
You've heard, no doubt, about lobbying scandals in Washington, and you have not heard, of course, about serious lobbying reform.
The biggest spender in the lobbying business: health care. Maybe those cynical non-voters are on to something.
Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many across the country.
By Harry Smith
Copyright 2006 CBS. All rights reserved.