by Max Brantley
Talk Business finds a legislator, freshman Republican Rep. Duncan Baird of Lowell, who has adopted a personal "Wal-Mart rule" for meeting with lobbyists. He'll take no freebies, unless there's a spread put on open to all comers, not just legislators. (Hint: The special interests throw no such Huey Long-style open-door events. They focus like lasers on the people who matter and that wouldn't be the great unwashed.)
Baird is employed by Arvest, the Waltons' bank, so he has some familiarity with the Wal-Mart prohibition against accepting favors from vendors. (A lobbyist is a vendor, just as much as a Procter and Gamble rep peddling toilet paper.)
So simple. So clean. So easy. Unless you're one of those who knows that lobbyist favors get results or one of those who think public service is an opportunity to rake freebies. You know who you are.