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It's got a parallelism (I think you call it) where a list of things (with commas to separate them) attach back to "the people"; that's obviously normal, but there's the ", but" before the subject that the list's items attach to, so I wonder if that's too "busy" or if that's kosher. I think that the New Yorker will have sentences with all manner of commas sprinkled throughout the sentence and all manner of commas doing all sorts of things throughout the sentence, so this is probably nothing at all "busy" if that's your reference point.

There are plenty of leeches in this town, but the people working on Capitol Hill work insanely long hours day in and day out, are constantly talking to people, are constantly attending events, are constantly advocating their messages to various individuals, and are often woefully underpaid

Last edited by Andrew Van Wagner
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The sentence is fine, Andrew. The first comma separates the two independent clauses; the rest of the commas separate the verb-phrase conjuncts in your series of verb phrases in the second independent clause. To get rid of commas, you could do the following, which also gets rid of redundant "are constantly"s:

  • There are plenty of leeches in this town, but the people working on Capitol Hill work insanely long hours day in and day out, are constantly talking to people and attending events and advocating their messages to various individuals, and are often woefully underpaid.
Last edited by David, Moderator

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