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Lobbying in the United States
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{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2017}}{{Short description|National lobbying overview}}{{Use American English|date=January 2019}}{{see also|Direct lobbying in the United States}}File:K Street NW at 19th Street.jpg|thumb|K Street NW at 19th Street in Washington D.C., the location of many "K Street lobbyist" and law firm office buildings.]]Lobbying in the United States describes paid activity in which special interests hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in decision-making bodies such as the United States Congress. It is a highly controversial phenomenon, often seen in a negative light by journalists and the American public,NEWS
, Evangeline Marzec of Demand Media
, What Is Corporate Lobbying?
, Chron.com
, January 14, 2012
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, with some critics describing it as a legal form of bribery or extortion. Robert Reich, June 9, 2015, Salon magazine, Robert Reich: Lobbyists are snuffing our democracy, one legal bribe at a time, Retrieved May 30, 2017, "...This second scandal is perfectly legal but it’s a growing menace ... the financial rewards from lobbying have mushroomed, as big corporations and giant Wall Street banks have sunk fortunes into rigging the game to their advantage...." Mike Masnick, April 12, 2012, Tech Dirt, Is Lobbying Closer To Bribery... Or Extortion?, Retrieved May 30, 2017, While lobbying is subject to extensive and often complex rules which, if not followed, can lead to penalties including jail, the activity of lobbying has been interpreted by court rulings as constitutionally protected free speech and a way to petition the government for the redress of grievances, two of the freedoms protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Since the 1970s, lobbying activity has grown immensely in the United States in terms of the numbers of lobbyists and the size of lobbying budgets, and has become the focus of much criticism of American governance.Since lobby rules require extensive disclosure, there is a large amount of information in the public sphere about which entities lobby, how, at whom, and for how much. The current pattern suggests much lobbying is done primarily by corporations, although a wide variety of coalitions representing diverse groups also occurs. Lobbying takes place at every level of government, including federal, state, county, municipal, and even local governments. In Washington, D.C., lobbying usually targets members of Congress, although there have been efforts to influence executive agency officials as well as Supreme Court appointments. Lobbying can have an important influence on the political system; for example, a study in 2014 suggested that special interest lobbying enhanced the power of elite groups and was a factor shifting the nation's political structure toward an oligarchy in which average citizens have "little or no independent influence".JOURNAL, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens,weblink Perspectives on Politics, September 1, 2014, 1541-0986, 564–581, 12, 3, 10.1017/S1537592714001595, Martin, Gilens, Benjamin I., Page, The number of lobbyists in Washington is estimated to be over twelve thousand, but most lobbying (in terms of expenditures), is handled by fewer than 300 firms with low turnover. A report in The Nation in 2014 suggested that while the number of 12,281 registered lobbyists was a decrease since 2002, lobbying activity was increasing and "going underground" as lobbyists use "increasingly sophisticated strategies" to obscure their activity.Lee Fang, March 10, 2014, The Nation, Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? On paper, the influence-peddling business is drying up. But lobbying money is flooding into Washington, DC, like never before. What’s going on?, Accessed March 21, 2014 Analyst James A. Thurber estimated that the actual number of working lobbyists was close to 100,000 and that the industry brings in $9 billion annually.Lobbying has been the subject of academic inquiry in various fields, including law, public policy, economics and even marketing strategy.

Overview

Political scientist Thomas R. Dye once said that politics is about battling over scarce governmental resources: who gets them, where, when, why and how. Since government makes the rules in a complex economy such as the United States, it is logical that various organizations, businesses, individuals, nonprofits, trade groups, religions, charities and others—which are affected by these rules—will exert as much influence as they can to have rulings favorable to their cause. And the battling for influence has happened in every organized society since the beginning of civilization, whether it was Ancient Athens, Florence during the time of the Medici, Late Imperial China, or the present-day United States. Modern-day lobbyists in one sense are like the courtiers of the Ancien Régime. If voting is a general way for a public to control a government, lobbying is a more specific, targeted effort, focused on a narrower set of issues.(File:The Lobby of the House of Commons, 1886 by Liborio Prosperi ('Lib').jpg|thumb|right|The lobby of the House of Commons. Painting 1886 by Liborio Prosperi.)The term lobby has etymological roots in the physical structure of the British Parliament, in which there was an intermediary covered room outside the main hall. People pushing an agenda would try to meet with members of Parliament in this room, and they came to be known, by metonymy, as lobbyists, although one account in 1890 suggested that the application of the word "lobby" is American and that the term is not used as much in Britain.NEWS
, John Joseph Lalor (editor)
, John Joseph Lalor
, Cyclopaedia of political science, political economy...
, Charles E. Merrill & Co.
, see page 78
, 1890
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, The Willard Hotel, 2 blocks from the White House at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, claims the term originated there: "It was in the Willard lobby that Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “lobbyist.” Often bothered by self-promoters as he sat in the lobby and enjoyed his cigar and brandy, he referred to these individuals as “lobbyists.”weblink"The term lobbying in everyday parlance can describe a wide variety of activities, and in its general sense, suggests advocacy, advertising, or promoting a cause. In this sense, anybody who tries to influence any political position can be thought of as "lobbying", and sometimes the term is used in this loose sense. A person who writes a letter to a congressperson, or even questions a candidate at a political meeting, could be construed as being a lobbyist.NEWS
, Donald E. deKieffer
, The Citizen's Guide to Lobbying Congress: Revised and Updated
, Chicago Review Press
, see Ch.1
, 2007
, 978-1-55652-718-0
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, However, the term "lobbying" generally means a paid activity with the purpose of attempting to "influence or sway" a public official – including bureaucrats and elected officials – towards a desired specific action often relating to specific legislation. If advocacy is disseminating information, including attempts to persuade public officials as well as the public and media to promote the cause of something and support it, then when this activity becomes focused on specific legislation, either in support or in opposition, then it crosses the line from advocacy and becomes lobbying. This is the usual sense of the term "lobbying." One account suggested that much of the activity of nonprofits was not lobbying per se, since it usually did not mean changes in legislation.{{dubious|date=February 2013}}A lobbyist, according to the legal sense of the word, is a professional, often a lawyer. Lobbyists are intermediaries between client organizations and lawmakers: they explain to legislators what their organizations want, and they explain to their clients what obstacles elected officials face. One definition of a lobbyist is someone "employed to persuade legislators to pass legislation that will help the lobbyist's employer."NEWS
, Lisa Magloff of Demand Media
, Federal Lobbying Guidelines
, chron.com
, January 14, 2012
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, Many lobbyists work in lobbying firms or law firms, some of which retain clients outside lobbying. Others work for advocacy groups, trade associations, companies, and state and local governments. Lobbyists can be one type of government official, such as a governor of a state, who presses officials in Washington for specific legislation.NEWS
, Donald H. Haider
, When governments come to Washington: Governors, mayors, and intergovernmental lobbying
, Free Press
, 1974
, 0-02-913370-X
,weblink
,weblink" title="archive.is/20130414194835weblink">weblink
, yes
, April 14, 2013
, January 12, 2012
, A lobbyist may put together a diverse coalition of organizations and people, sometimes including lawmakers and corporations, and the whole effort may be considered to be a lobby; for example, in the abortion issue, there is a "pro-choice lobby" and a "pro-life lobby".An estimate from 2007 reported that more than 15,000 federal lobbyists were based in Washington, DC;BOOK, Washington Representatives, 32, November 2007, Columbia Books, Bethesda, MD, 978-1-880873-55-7! !! Client !! Amount Spent !! %! 1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10! 11! 12! 13! !
WORK=LOBBYING DATABASE CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS >ACCESSDATE=DECEMBER 26, 2011 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WWW.WEBCITATION.ORG/60IJS5VAY?URL=HTTP://WWW.OPENSECRETS.ORG/LOBBY/INDEX.PHP DF=, While numbers like these suggest that lobbying is a widespread activity, most accounts suggest that the Washington lobbying industry is an exclusive one run by a few well-connected firms and players, with serious barriers to entry for firms wanting to get into the lobbying business, since it requires them to have been "roaming the halls of Congress for years and years."It is possible for foreign nations to influence the foreign policy of the United States through lobbying or by supporting lobbying organizations directly or indirectly. For example, in 2016, Taiwanese officials hired American senator-turned-lobbyist Bob Dole to set up a controversial phone call between president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen.NEWS, Trump risks showdown with China after call with Taiwan,weblink December 3, 2016, CNN, December 2, 2016, NEWS, Trump speaks with Taiwanese president, a major break with decades of U.S. policy on China,weblink Washington Post, JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and ERIC LIPTON, The New York Times, December 6, 2016, Bob Dole Worked Behind the Scenes on Trump-Taiwan Call, Retrieved December 7, 2016, "...Former Senator Bob Dole, acting as a foreign agent for the government of Taiwan, worked behind the scenes ... to establish high-level contact between Taiwanese officials and President Donald J. Trump’s staff, ... culminated last week in an unorthodox telephone call between Mr. Trump and Taiwan’s president..." There are reports that the National Rifle Association, a U.S.-based lobbying group advocating for gun rights, has been the target of a decade-long infiltration effort by Russian president Vladimir Putin, with allegations that Putin funneled cash through the NRA to aid the election of Donald Trump. Tim Dickinson, April 2, 2018, Rolling Stone magazine, Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump: Femme fatales, lavish Moscow parties and dark money – how Russia worked the National Rifle Association, Retrieved April 11, 2018, "... Putin has a long track record of illegally financing nationalist opposition groups in the West ... Kremlin's NRA outreach culminated in pumping vast sums into the group's coffers ..." Josh Delk, March 17, 2018, The Hill, FEC reviewing whether NRA accepted illegal Russian donations in 2016: report, Retrieved April 11, 2018 March 24, 2018, BY PETER STONE AND GREG GORDON, McClatchy Report, Lawyer who worked for NRA said to have had concerns about group’s Russia ties, Retrieved April 11, 2018, "......" There are also reports that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates has waged an intense lobbying campaign to win over the Trump administration and Congress.NEWS, Millions flow to fast-growing lobbying firms with ties to the Trump administration,weblink USA Today, May 18, 2018, NEWS, Saudi crown prince's visit to White House sheds light on pro-Saudi lobby,weblink Al-Jazeera, March 20, 2018, NEWS, Billion Dollar Arms Deals For Saudi Allies, Whose Lobbyists Give Heavily To Congress.,weblink IBTimes, December 12, 2017, NEWS, Saudis Hire Top D.C. Lobbyists to Seek U.S. Approval for Deals,weblink Bloomberg, March 12, 2018,

Different types of lobbying

The focus of lobbying efforts

File:Tony Podesta, Senator Kay and Chip Hagan.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Photo of three people posing for a picture|Lobbying depends on cultivating personal relationships over many years. Photo: Lobbyist Tony Podesta (left) with former Senator Kay HaganKay HaganGenerally, lobbyists focus on trying to persuade decision-makers: Congress, executive branch agencies such as the Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Supreme Court, and state governments (including governors). Federal agencies have been targeted by lobbyists since they write industry-specific rules; accordingly, interest groups spend "massive sums of money" trying to persuade them to make so-called "carve-outs" or try to block specific provisions from being enacted. A large fraction of overall lobbying is focused on only a few sets of issues, according to one report. It is possible for one level of government to lobby another level; for example, the District of Columbia has been lobbying Congress and the President for greater power, including possible statehood or voting representation in Congress; one assessment in 2011 suggested that the district needed to rethink its lobbying strategy, since its past efforts have only had "mixed results".NEWS
, Ben Pershing
, As frustrations mount, does D.C. need new lobbying strategy?
, The Washington Post
, April 16, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, Many executive branch agencies have the power to write specific rules and are a target of lobbying. Federal agencies such as the State Department make rules such as giving aid money to countries such as Egypt, and in one example, an Egyptian-American businessman named Kais Menoufy organized a lobby to try to halt U.S. aid to Egypt.NEWS
, Stephen Magagnini of the Sacramento Bee
, California man leads lobbying to halt U.S. aid to Egypt
, Miami Herald
, December 19, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Since the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review and can render a congressional law unconstitutional, it has great power to influence the course of American life. For example, in the Roe v. Wade decision, it ruled on the legality of abortion. A variety of forces use lobbying tactics to pressure the court to overturn this decision.Lobbyists represent their clients' or organizations' interests in state capitols. An example is a former school superintendent who has been lobbying state legislatures in California, Michigan and Nevada to overhaul teacher evaluations, and trying to end the "Last In, First Out" teacher hiring processes; according to one report, Michelle Rhee is becoming a "political force."NEWS
, Greg Toppo
, Former D.C. schools chief busy lobbying, helping politicians
, USA Today
, December 30, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, State governments can be lobbied by groups which represent other governments within the state, such as a city authority; for example, the cities of TallahasseeNEWS
, MARTHA BRANNIGAN
, Mayor Gimenez vetoes new Tallahassee lobbying contracts: Asserting the county commission failed in its aim to cut spending, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez vetoed a measure that would have paid $450,000 to lobbying firms.
, Miami Herald
, December 28, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, and St. PetersburgNEWS
, William Mansell
, Florida's Lobbying Powerhouses Vie for City of St. Pete Contract
, Old Northeast-Downtown St. Pete Patch
, August 18, 2011
,weblink
,weblink" title="archive.is/20130131113313weblink">weblink
, yes
, January 31, 2013
, January 14, 2012
, lobbied the Florida legislature using paid lobbyists to represent the city's interests. There is lobbying activity at the countyNEWS
, Alison Knezevich
, County ethics bill would restrict lobbying, add enforcement
, Baltimore Sun
, November 2, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, and municipal levels, especially in larger cities and populous counties. For example, officials within the city government of Chicago called aldermen became lobbyists after serving in municipal government, following a one-year period required by city ethics rules to abstain from lobbying.NEWS
, TIM NOVAK
, Seven former Chicago aldermen now lobbying City Hall
, Chicago Sun-Times
, September 26, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
,

Paid versus free lobbying

While the bulk of lobbying happens by business and professional interests who hire paid professionals, some lobbyists represent non-profits pro-bono for issues in which they are personally interested. Pro bono publico clients offer activities to meet and socialize with local legislators at events like fundraisers and awards ceremonies.

Single issue versus multiple issue lobbying

Lobbies which push for a single issue have grown in importance during the past twenty years, according to one source. Corporations generally would be considered as single issue lobbies. If a corporation wishes to change public policy, or to influence legislation which impacts its success as a business, it may use lobbying as a "primary avenue" for this purpose.NEWS
, William Kerr
, William Lincoln
, Prachi Mishra
, The dynamics of firm lobbying
, VOX
, November 22, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, One research study suggested that single issue lobbies often operate in different kinds of institutional venues, sometimes bringing the same message to different groups. Lobbies which represent groups such as labor unions, business organizations, trade associations and such are sometimes considered to be multiple issue lobbies, and to succeed they must be somewhat more flexible politically and be willing to accept compromise.

Inside versus outside lobbying

  • Inside lobbying, or sometimes called direct lobbying, describes efforts by lobbyists to influence legislation or rule-making directly by contacting legislators and their assistants, sometimes called staffers or aides.
  • Outside lobbying, or sometimes indirect lobbying, includes attempts by interest group leaders to mobilize citizens outside the policymaking community, perhaps by public relations methods or advertising, to prompt them to pressure public officials within the policymaking community. One example of an outside lobbying effort is a film entitled InJustice, made by a group promoting lawsuit reform.NEWS


, Dan Eggen, T.W. Farnam
, yes, The Influence Industry: Coming soon to a screen near you — a lobbying campaign
, The Washington Post
, July 13, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Some lobbyists are now are using social media to reduce the cost of traditional campaigns, and to more precisely target public officials with political messages.Kia Kokalitcheva, July 13, 2016, Fortune magazine, Government Lobbyists Are More Nimble Than Ever, Retrieved August 21, 2016

History of lobbying

File:The Federalist (1st ed, 1788, vol I, title page).jpg|thumb|right|The Federalist PapersFederalist PapersThe Constitution was crafted in part to solve the problem of special interests, today usually represented by lobbies, by having these factions compete. James Madison identified a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community",{{ref|fed1}} and Madison argued in Federalist No. 10 that there was less risk of injury by a narrowly focused faction in a large republic if any negative influence was counteracted by other factions.{{ref|fed2}}{{ref|fed3}} In addition, the Constitution protected free speech, including the right to petition the government,WEB,weblink Illinois First Amendment Center, The Right to Petition, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130411172748weblink">weblink April 11, 2013, mdy-all, and these rights have been used by lobbying interests throughout the nation's history. There has been lobbying at every level of government, particularly in state governmentsNEWS
, A NOTED LOTTERY MAN DEAD.; CAREER OF CHARLES T. HOWARD, OF THE LOUISIANA COMPANY
, The New York Times
, June 1, 1885
,weblink
, December 3, 2011
, during the nineteenth century, but increasingly directed towards the federal government in the twentieth century. The last few decades have been marked by an exponential increase in lobbying activity and expenditures.NEWS
, Robert G. Kaiser; Alice Crites (research contributor)
, Citizen K Street
, How lobbying became Washington's biggest business – Big money creates a new capital city. As lobbying booms, Washington and politics are transformed.
, The Washington Post
, 2007
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
,

Lobbying as a business

Key players

Lobbyists

The number of registered Washington lobbyists is substantial. In 2009, the Washington Post estimated that there were 13,700 registered lobbyists, describing the nation's Capitol as "teeming with lobbyists.".NEWS
, Brad Plumer
, Corporate lobbying is a very exclusive club
, The Washington Post
, November 8, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, In 2011, The Guardian estimated that in addition to the approximately 13,000 registered lobbyists, thousands more unregistered lobbyists could exist in Washington. The ratio of lobbyists employed by the healthcare industry, compared with every elected politician, was six to one, according to one account. Nevertheless, the numbers of lobbyists actively engaged in lobbying is considerably less, and the ones occupied with lobbying full-time and making significant money is even less.
  • Law firms: Several law firms, including Patton Boggs, Akin Gump and Holland & Knight, had sizable departments devoted to so-called "government relations". One account suggested that the lobbying arms of these law firms were not held as separate subsidiaries, but that the law practices involved in government lobbying were integrated into the overall framework of the law firm. A benefit to an integrated arrangement was that the law firm and the lobbying department could "share and refer clients back and forth". Holland & Knight earned $13.9 million from lobbying revenue in 2011.NEWS


, Catherine Ho
, Holland & Knight’s lobbying group to shed traditional hourly billing
, The Washington Post
, December 14, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, One law firm employs so-called "power brokers" including former Treasury department officials such as Marti Thomas, and former presidential advisers such as Daniel Meyer. There was a report that two law firms were treating their lobbying groups as separate business units, and giving the non-lawyer lobbyists an equity stake in the firm.NEWS
, Catherine Ho
, Lobbying practices leave law firms for more independence, equity for non-lawyers
, The Washington Post
, December 25, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
,
  • Lobbying firms: These firms usually have some lawyers in them, and are often founded by former congressional staffers, legislators, or other politicians.{{citation needed|date=February 2013}} Some lobbying groups have been bought by large advertising conglomerates.
File:McDonnell Douglas Long Beach 03.jpg|thumb|right|Defense contractors such as Boeing and Lockheed MartinLockheed Martin

Corporations

Corporations which lobby actively tend to be few in number, large, and often sell to the government. Most corporations do not hire lobbyists. One study found that the actual number of firms which do lobbying regularly is fewer than 300, and that the percent of firms engaged in lobbying was 10% from 1998 to 2006, and that they were "mainly large, rich firms getting in on the fun." These firms hired lobbyists year after year, and there was not much evidence of other large firms taking much interest in lobbying. Corporations considering lobbying run into substantial barriers to entry: corporations have to research the relevant laws about lobbying, hire lobbying firms, and cultivate influential people and make connections.Salamon, Lester M, and John J Siegfried (1977), "Economic Power and Political Influence: The Impact of Industry Structure on Public Policy," American Political Science Review 71.Masters, Marick F, and Gerald D Keim (1985), "Determinants of PAC Participation Among Large Corporations," Journal of Politics 47.Bombardini, Matilde (2008), "Firm Heterogeneity and Lobby Participation," Journal of International Economics 75 When an issue regarding a change in immigration policy arose, large corporations currently lobbying switched focus somewhat to take account of the new regulatory world, but new corporations—even ones likely to be affected by any possible rulings on immigration—stayed out of the lobbying fray, according to the study.Still, of all the entities doing lobbying in Washington, the biggest overall spenders are, in fact, corporations. In the first decade of the 2000s, the most lucrative clients for Gerald Cassidy's lobbying firm were corporations, displacing fees from the appropriations business. Wall Street lobbyists and the financial industry spent upwards of $100 million in one year to "court regulators and lawmakers", particularly since they were "finalizing new regulations for lending, trading and debit card fees."NEWS
, BEN PROTESS
, Wall Street Continues to Spend Big on Lobbying
, New York Times
, August 1, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, One academic analysis in 1987 found that firms were more likely to spend on lobbying if they were both large and concerned about "adverse financial statement consequences" if they did not lobby.NEWS
, Jere R. Francis
, Lobbying against proposed accounting standards: The case of employers' pension accounting
, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy
, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 35–57
, Spring 1987
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Big banks were "prolific spenders" on lobbying; JPMorgan Chase has an in-house team of lobbyists who spent $3.3 million in 2010; the American Bankers Association spent $4.6 million on lobbying; an organization representing 100 of the nation's largest financial firms called the Financial Services Roundtable spent heavily as well. A trade group representing Hedge Funds spent more than $1 million in one quarter trying to influence the government about financial regulations, including an effort to try to change a rule that might demand greater disclosure requirements for funds.NEWS
, Associated Press
, Hedge fund group spent $1 million lobbying in 3Q
, CBS News
, December 12, 2011
,weblink$1-million-lobbying-in-3q/
, January 14, 2012
, Amazon.com spent $450,000 in one quarter lobbying about a possible online sales tax as well as rules about data protection and privacy.NEWS
, staff writer
, Amazon spent $450,000 lobbying gov’t in Q3
, Boston Globe
, December 16, 2011
,weblink
,weblink" title="archive.is/20130118130056weblink">weblink
, yes
, January 18, 2013
, January 13, 2012
, Corporations which sell substantially to the government tend to be active lobbiers. For example, aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which has sizeable defense contracts, pours "millions into lobbying":NEWS
, Lynn Sweet
, Chicago based Boeing flexing lobbying, political muscle
, Chicago Sun-Times
, November 21, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120518103650weblink">weblink
, May 18, 2012
, mdy-all
, File:Barry Loudermilk official photo.jpg|thumb|right|Credit reporting agency Equifax lobbied Congress extensively in 2016 and 2017, giving thousands of dollars to the campaign of GOP representative Barry LoudermilkBarry LoudermilkIn the spring of 2017, there was a fierce lobbying effort by Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast and AT&T, and tech firms such as Google and Facebook, to undo regulations protecting consumer privacy. Rules passed by the Obama administration in 2016 required ISPs to get "explicit consent" from consumers before gathering browsing histories, locations of businesses visited and applications used, but trade groups wanted to be able to sell this information for profit without consent. Lobbyists connected with Republican senator Jeff Flake and Republican representative Marsha Blackburn to sponsor legislation to dismantle Internet privacy rules; Flake received $22,700 in donations and Blackburn received $20,500 in donations from these trade groups. On March 23, 2017, abolition of privacy restrictions passed on a narrow party-line vote, and the lobbying effort achieved its result. Kimberly Kindy, May 30, 2017, Washington Post, How Congress dismantled federal Internet privacy rules, Retrieved May 30, 2017 In 2017, credit reporting agency Equifax lobbied Congress extensively, spending $1.1 million in 2016 and $500,000 in 2017, seeking rules to limit damage from lawsuits and less regulatory oversight; in August 2017, Equifax's databases were breached and the confidential data of millions of Americans was stolen by hackers and identity thieves, potentially opening up the firm to numerous class action lawsuits. Renae Merle and Hamza Shaban, September 19, 2017, Washington Post, Before the breach, Equifax sought to limit exposure to lawsuits, Retrieved September 20, 2017, "...Equifax ... the company lobbied Congress on legislation to limit how much it could be forced to pay if sued by consumers ... it pressed lawmakers to roll back the powers of its regulators.... Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk said at a Sept. 7 hearing on the proposal... "Major American corporations spent $345 million lobbying for just three pro-immigration bills between 2006 and 2008.WEB,weblink How did opening borders to mass immigration become a 'Left-wing' idea?, 2016-02-11,

Unions

One report suggested the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union spent $80,000 lobbying the federal government on issues relating to "the tax code, food safety, immigration reform and other issues."NEWS
, Associated Press
, UFCW union spent $80K lobbying federal gov't
, CBS News
, December 27, 2011
,weblink$80k-lobbying-federal-govt/
, January 13, 2012
,

Other players

Other possible players in the lobbying arena are those who might influence legislation: House & Senate colleagues, public opinion in the district, the White House, party leaders, union leaders, and other influential persons and groups. Interest groups are often thought of as "nonparty organizations" which regularly try to change or influence government decision-making.

Lobbying methods and techniques

Lobbying has much in common with highly people-intensive businesses such as management consulting and public relations, but with a political and legal sensibility. Like lawmakers, many lobbyists are lawyers, and the persons they are trying to influence have the duty of writing laws. That the disciplines of law and lobbying are intertwined could be seen in the case of a Texas lawyer who had been seeking compensation for his unfairly imprisoned client; since his exonerated-prisoner client had trouble paying the legal expenses, the lawyer lobbied the Texas state legislature to raise the state's payment for unfairly imprisoned prisoners from $50,000 per year to $80,000 per year; it succeeded, making it possible for his newly freed client to pay the lawyer's fees.NEWS
, JOHN SCHWARTZ
, Exonerated Inmates Fight Lawyer’s Lobbying Fees
, The New York Times
, May 9, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, File:Heather Podesta Thomas Perriello.jpg|thumb|right|Connections count: Congressman Tom Perriello with lobbyist Heather PodestaHeather PodestaWell-connected lobbyists work in Washington for years, know the issues, are highly skilled advocates, and have cultivated close connections with members of Congress, regulators, specialists, and others. They understand strategy and have excellent communication skills; many are well suited to be able to choose which clients they would like to represent. Lobbyists patiently cultivate networks of powerful people, over many years, trying to build trust and maintain confidence and friendships. When a client hires them to push a specific issue or agenda, they usually form coalitions to exert political pressure. Lobbying, as a result, depends on trying to be flexible to new opportunities, but at the same time, to act as an agent for a client. As one lobbyist put it:
Access is important and often means a one-on-one meeting with a legislator.NEWS
, Willard C. Richan
, Lobbying for Social Change: Third Edition
, The Haworth Press
, 2006
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Getting access can sometimes be difficult, but there are various avenues: email, personal letters, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, meals, get-togethers, and even chasing after congresspersons in the Capitol building:
When getting access is difficult, there are ways to wear down the walls surrounding a legislator. Jack Abramoff explained:
Lobbyists often assist congresspersons with campaign finance by arranging fundraisers, assembling PACs, and seeking donations from other clients. Many lobbyists become campaign treasurers and fundraisers for congresspersons. This helps incumbent members cope with the substantial amounts of time required to raise money for reelection bids; one estimate was that congresspersons had to spend a third of their working hours on fundraising activity. PACs are fairly easy to set up; it requires a lawyer and about $300, roughly. An even steeper possible reward which can be used in exchange for favors is the lure of a high-paying job as a lobbyist; according to Jack Abramoff, one of the best ways to "get what he wanted" was to offer a high-ranking congressional aide a high-paying job after they decided to leave public office. When such a promise of future employment was accepted, according to Abramoff, "we owned them". This helped the lobbying firm exert influence on that particular congressperson by going through the staff member or aide. At the same time, it is hard for outside observers to argue that a particular decision, such as hiring a former staffer into a lobbying position, was purely as a reward for some past political decision, since staffers often have valuable connections and policy experience needed by lobbying firms. Research economist Mirko Draca suggested that hiring a staffer was an ideal way for a lobbying firm to try to sway their old bosses—a congressperson—in the future.Lobbyists, according to several sources, strive for communications which are clear, straightforward, and direct. In a one-on-one meeting with a lobbyist, it helps to understand precisely what goal is wanted. A lobbyist wants action on a bill; a legislator wants to be re-elected. The idea is to persuade a legislator that what the lobbyist wants is good public policy. Lobbyists often urge lawmakers to try to persuade other lawmakers to approve a bill.File:Robert Byrd official portrait.jpg|thumb|right|Senator Robert ByrdRobert ByrdStill, persuasion is a subtle business, requiring a deft touch, and carelessness can boomerang. In one instance of a public relations reversal, a lobbying initiative by the Cassidy firm which targeted Senator Robert C. Byrd blew up when the Cassidy-Byrd connection was published in the Washington Post; this resulted in a furious Byrd reversing his previous pro-Cassidy position and throwing a "theatrical temper tantrum" regarding an $18 million facility.NEWS
, Robert G. Kaiser; Alice Crites (research contributor)
, Citizen K Street
, How lobbying became Washington's biggest business — Big money creates a new capital city. As lobbying booms, Washington and politics are transformed.
, The Washington Post
, 2007
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Byrd denounced "lobbyists who collect exorbitant fees to create projects and have them earmarked in appropriation bills... for the benefit of their clients."Since it often takes a long time to build the network of relationships within the lobbying industry, ethical interpersonal dealings are important. A maxim in the industry is for lobbyists to be truthful with people they are trying to persuade; one lobbyist described it this way: "what you've basically got is your word and reputation". An untruth, a lie is too risky to the successful development of a long-term relationship and the potential gain is not worth the risk. One report suggested that below-the-belt tactics generally do not work. One account suggest that groping for "personal dirt" on opponents was counterproductive since it would undermine respect for the lobbyist and their clients. And, by reverse logic, if an untruth is told by an opponent or opposing lobby, then it makes sense to publicize it. But the general code among lobbyists is that unsubstantiated claims are bad business. Even worse is planting an informant in an opponent's camp, since if this subterfuge is ever discovered, it will boomerang negatively in a hundred ways, and credibility will drop to zero. The importance of personal relationships in lobbying can be seen in the state of Illinois, in which father-son ties helped push a smart-grid energy bill, although there were accusations of favoritism.NEWS
, JOHN SULLIVAN, FREDRIC N. TULSKY and KRISTEN McQUEARY
, Public Officials Found Helping Clients of Family
, The New York Times
, January 7, 2012
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, And there is anecdotal evidence that a business firm seeking to profitably influence legislation has to pay particular attention to which lobbyist it hires.Strategic considerations for lobbyists, trying to influence legislation, include "locating a power base" or a constituency logically predisposed to support a given policy. Timing, as well, is usually important, in the sense of knowing when to propose a certain action and having a big-picture view of the possible sequence of desired actions. Strategic lobbying tries to estimate the possible responses of different groups to a possible lobby approach; one study suggested that the "expectations of opposition from other interests" was a key factor helping to determine how a lobby should operate.NEWS
, Thomas T. Holyoke
, Choosing Battlegrounds: Interest Group Lobbying Across Multiple Venues
, Political Research Quarterly
, September 2003 vol. 56 no. 3 325–336
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Increasingly, lobbyists seek to put together coalitions and use outside lobbying by swaying public opinion. Bigger, more diverse and deep pocketed coalitions tend to be more effective in outside lobbying, and the "strength in numbers" principle often applies.NEWS
, Dara Olmsted
, Lobbying for waterways
, Boston Globe
, March 28, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, {{dead link|date=March 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Interest groups try to build "sustainable coalitions of similarly situated individual organizations in pursuit of like-minded goals". According to one study, it is often difficult for a lobbyist to influence a staff member in Congress directly, since staffers tend to be well-informed and subject to views from competing interests. As an indirect tactic, lobbyists can try to manipulate public opinion which, in turn, can sometimes exert pressure on congresspersons. Activities for these purposes include trying to use the mass media, cultivating contacts with reporters and editors, encouraging them to write editorials and cover stories to influence public opinion, which may have the secondary effect of influencing Congress. According to analyst Ken Kollman, it is easier to sway public opinion than a congressional staff member since it is possible to bombard the public with "half-truths, distortion, scare tactics, and misinformation." Kollman suggests there should be two goals: (1) communicate that there is public support behind an issue to policymakers and (2) increase public support for the issue among constituents. Kollman suggested outside lobbying was a "powerful tool" for interest group leaders.NEWS
, Ken Kollman
, Outside Lobbying: Public Opinion & Interest Group Strategies
, Princeton University Press
, (See Preface & Introduction)
, 1998
,weblink
, 0-691-01740-9
, January 12, 2012
, In a sense, using these criteria, one could consider James Madison as having engaged in outside lobbying, since after the Constitution was proposed, he wrote many of the 85 newspaper editorials arguing for people to support the Constitution, and these writings later became the Federalist Papers. As a result of this "lobbying" effort, the Constitution was ratified, although there were narrow margins of victory in four of the state legislatures. Lobbying today generally requires mounting a coordinated campaign, using targeted blitzes of telephone calls, letters, emails to congressional lawmakers, marches down the Washington Mall, bus caravans, and such, and these are often put together by lobbyists who coordinate a variety of interest group leaders to unite behind a hopefully simple easy-to-grasp and persuasive message.It is important for lobbyists to follow rules governing lobbying behavior. These can be difficult and complex, take time to learn, require full disclosure, and mistakes can land a lobbyist in serious legal trouble.Gifts for congresspersons and staffers can be problematic, since anything of sizeable value must be disclosed and generally such gifts are illegal. Failure to observe gift restrictions was one factor which caused lobbyist Jack Abramoff to eventually plead guilty to a "raft of federal corruption charges" and led to convictions for 20 lobbyists and public officials, including congressperson Bob Ney and Bush deputy interior secretary Stephen Griles. Generally gifts to congresspersons or their staffs or federal officials are not allowed, but with a few exceptions: books are permitted, provided that the inside cover is inscribed with the congressperson's name and the name of one's organization. Gifts under $5 are allowed. Another exception is awards, so it is permitted to give a congressperson a plaque thanking him or her for support on a given issue. Cash gifts payable by check can only be made to campaign committees, not to a candidate personally or to his or her staff; it is not permitted to give cash or stock.Wealthy lobbyists often encourage other lobbying clients to donate to a particular cause, in the hope that favors will be returned at a later date. Lobbyist Gerald Cassidy encouraged other clients to give for causes dear to a particular client engaged in a current lobbying effort. Some lobbyists give their own money: Cassidy reportedly donated a million dollars on one project, according to one report, which noted that Cassidy's firm received "many times that much in fees from their clients" paid in monthly retainers. And their clients, in turn, had received "hundreds of millions in earmarked appropriations" and benefits worth "hundreds of millions more".File:Abramoff SIAC 20040929 2.jpg|thumb|Jack AbramoffJack AbramoffThe dynamics of the lobbying world make it fairly easy for a semi-skilled operator to defraud a client. This is essentially what happened in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. There was a concerned client—in this case, an Indian casino—worried about possible ill-effects of legislation on its gambling business; and there were lobbyists such as Jack Abramoff who knew how to exploit these fears. The lobbyists actively lobbied against their own casino-client as a way to ratchet up their fears of adverse legislation as well as stoke possible future contributions; the lobbyists committed other violations such as grossly overbilling their clients as well as violating rules about giving gifts to congresspersons. Numerous persons went to jail after the scandal. The following are factors which can make fraud a fairly easy-to-do activity: that lobbyists are paid only to try to influence decision-makers, and may or may not succeed, making it hard to tell if a lobbyist did actual work; that much of what happens regarding interpersonal relations is obscure despite rather strict disclosure and transparency requirements; that there are sizable monies involved—factors such as these almost guarantee that there will be future scandals involving fraudulent lobbying activity, according to one assessment. A fraud similar to Abramoff's was perpetrated in Maryland by lobbyist Gerard E. Evans, who was convicted of mail and wire fraud in 2000 in a case involving falsely creating a "fictitious legislative threat" against a client, and then billing the client to work against this supposed threat.NEWS
, John Wagner
, Evans regains top lobbying spot in Annapolis
, The Washington Post
, ... Evans was convicted ... accusations of concocting a fictitious legislative threat that he charged clients to lobby against...
, January 2, 2012
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Lobbyists routinely monitor how congressional officials vote, sometimes checking the past voting records of congresspersons. One report suggested that reforms requiring "publicly recorded committee votes" led to more information about how congresspersons voted, but instead of becoming a valuable resource for the news media or voters, the information helped lobbyists monitor congressional voting patterns. As a general rule, lawmakers must vote as a particular interest group wishes them to vote, or risk losing support.Strategy usually dictates targeting specific office holders. On the state level, one study suggested that much of the lobbying activity targeted the offices of governors as well as state-level executive bureaucrats; state lobbying was an "intensely personal game" with face-to-face contact being required for important decisions.NEWS
, Anthony J. Nownes, Krissy Walker DeAlejandro, Lobbying in the New Millennium: Evidence of Continuity and Change in Three States
, State Politics & Policy Quarterly
, vol. 9 no. 4 pages 429–455
, December 11, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Lobbying can be a counteractive response to the lobbying efforts of others. One study suggested this was particularly true for battles surrounding possible decisions by the Supreme Court which is considered as a "battleground for public policy" in which differing groups try to "etch their policy preferences into law".JOURNAL
, Lisa A. Solowiej, Paul M. Collins jr, Counteractive Lobbying in the U.S. Supreme Court
, American Politics Research
, 37, 4, 670–699, 10.1177/1532673X08328674
, July 2009
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Sometimes there are lobbying efforts to slow or derail other legislative processes; for example, when the FDA began considering a cheaper generic version of the costly anti-clotting drug Lovenox, the French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi "sprang into action to try and slow the process."NEWS
, Nancy Cordes
, Senators rail at big pharma's secretive lobbying
, CBS News
, May 29, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, Lobbyists are often assembled in anticipation of a potential takeover bid, particularly when there are large high-profile companies, or a large foreign company involved, and substantial concern that the takeover may be blocked by regulatory authorities.An example may illustrate. The company Tyco had learned that there had been discussion about a possible new tax provision that might have cost it $4 billion overall. So the firm hired Jack Abramoff and paid him a retainer of $100,000 a month. He assembled dozens of lobbyists with connections to key congressional committees with the ultimate objective being to influence powerful Senator Charles Grassley.NEWS
, The Tuesday Podcast: Jack Abramoff On Lobbying
, NPR
, December 20, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Abramoff began with a fundraising effort to round up "every check" possible. He sought funds from his other lobbying clients:

Lobbyists as educators and advisors

{{Peacock|section|date=January 2013}}Since government has grown increasingly complex, having to deal with new technologies, the task of writing rules has become more complex. "Government has grown so complex that it is a virtual certainty that more than one agency would be affected by any piece of legislation," according to one view. Lobbyists, therefore, spend considerable time learning the ins and outs of issues, and can use their expertise to educate lawmakers and help them cope with difficult issues. Lobbyists' knowledge has been considered to be an intellectual subsidy for lawmakers.RICHARD L. HALL and ALAN V. DEARDORFF (2006). Lobbying as Legislative Subsidy. American Political Science Review, 100 , pp 69–84 {{doi|10.1017/S0003055406062010}} Some lobbyists become specialists with expertise in a particular set of issues, although one study suggested that of two competing criteria for lobbyists—expertise or access—that access was far more important.Bertrand, Marianne, Matilde Bombardini, and Francesco Trebbi (2011), "Is It Whom You Know or What You Know? An Empirical Assessment of the Lobbying Process," University of British Columbia Working Paper.Blanes i Vidal, Jordi, Mirko Dracaz, and Christian Fons-Rosen (2011), "Revolving Door Lobbyists," London School of Economics Working Paper.Lobby groups and their members sometimes also write legislation and whip bills, and in these instances, it is helpful to have lawyers skilled in writing legislation to assist with these efforts. It is often necessary to research relevant laws and issues beforehand. In many instances lobbyists write the actual text of the proposed law, and hire lawyers to "get the language down pat"—an omission in wording or an unclear phrase may open up a loophole for opponents to wrangle over for years. And lobbyists can often advise a lawmaker on how to navigate the approval process.Lobbying firms can serve as mentors and guides. For example, after months of protesting by the Occupy Wall Street, one lobbying firm prepared a memo to its clients warning that Republicans may "turn on big banks, at least in public" which may have the effect of "altering the political ground for years to come."NEWS
, Jason Cherkis
, Lobbying Firm Memo To Advise Wall Street Clients On Occupy Movement
, Huffington Post
, November 23, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Here are parts of the memo which were broadcast on the MSNBC network.

A growing billion dollar business{| class"wikitable" style"float:right;"

Open Secrets, yes,weblink July 19, 2011, WEB,weblink Ranked Sectors, Open Secrets, yes,weblink December 19, 2010,
| 15%
| 15%
| 14%
| 12%
| 11%
| 8%
| 7%
| 5%
| 4%
| 4%
| 2%
| 1%
| 1%
Total >| 99%Note: numbers do not add to 100% because of rounding error.
not includecampaign contributions.HTTP://WWW.OPENSECRETS.ORG/LOBBY/INDEX.PHP ACCESSDATE=2010-10-29 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WWW.WEBCITATION.ORG/60IJS5VAY?URL=HTTP://WWW.OPENSECRETS.ORG/LOBBY/INDEX.PHP DF=, BOOK
, Sachs
, Jeffrey
, The Price of Civilization
, Random House
, 2011
, New York
, Center for Responsive Politics, cited in The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey D. Sachs (p.112) Numbers for 1998 to 2011 in USD billions: Finance, Insurance and Real Estate $4.5; Health $4.5; Miscellaneous Business $4.5; Communications and Electronics $3.7; Energy and Natural Resources $3.3; Transportation $2.4; Other $2.3; Ideology/Single-Issue $1.5; Agribusiness $1.3; Defense $1.3; Construction $0.5; Labor $0.5; Lawyers and Lobbyists $0.4
, 112
, 978-1-4000-6841-8, || ||
Since the 1970s, there has been explosive growth in the lobbying industry, particularly in Washington D.C.. By 2011, one estimate of overall lobbying spending nationally was $30+ billion dollars. An estimate of lobbying expenses in the federal arena was $3.5 billion in 2010, while it had been only $1.4 billion in 1998. And there is prodigious data since firms are required to disclose lobbying expenditures on a quarterly basis.The industry, however, is not immune to economic downturns. If Congress is gridlocked, such as during the summer and early fall of 2011, lobbying activity dipped considerably, according to The Washington Post.NEWS
, Catherine Ho
, Lobbying revenue lags in wake of gridlocked Congress
, The Washington Post
, October 30, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Lobbying firm Patton Boggs reported drops in revenue during that year, from $12 million in 2010 to $11 million in 2011. To cope with the downturn, some law firms compensated by increasing activity in litigation, regulatory work, and representing clients in congressional investigations.A sea-change in government, such as a shift in control of the legislature from one political party to the other, can affect the lobbying business profoundly. For example, the primarily Democratic-serving lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates learned that control of Congress would change hands from Democrats to Republicans in 1994, and the firm acquired Republican lobbyists before the congressional handover of power, and the move helped the lobbying firm stay on top of the new political realities.NEWS
, Robert G. Kaiser; Alice Crites (research contributor)
, Citizen K Street
, How lobbying became Washington's biggest business – Big money creates a new capital city. As lobbying booms, Washington and politics are transformed.
, Washington Post
, 2007
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
,

Examples of lobbying

There are numerous examples of lobbying activity reported by the media. One report chronicled a somewhat unusual alliance of consumer advocates and industry groups to boost funding for the Food and Drug Administration; the general pattern of lobbying efforts had been to try to reduce the regulatory oversight of such an agency. In this case, however, lobbying groups wanted the federal watchdog agency to have tougher policing authority to avert expensive problems when oversight was lax; in this case, industry and consumer groups were in harmony, and lobbyists were able to persuade officials that higher FDA budgets were in the public interest.NEWS
, Dina ElBoghdady
, FDA funding boosted through lobbying effort
, The Washington Post
, November 30, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Religious consortiums, according to one report, have engaged in a $400 million lobbying effort on such issues as the relation between church and state, civil rights for religious minorities, bioethics issues including abortion and capital punishment and end-of-life issues, and family issues.NEWS
, Dan Gilgoff
, Report tracks explosion of religious lobbying in Washington
, CNN
, November 22, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
,

Lobbying as a career

While national-level lobbyists working in Washington have the highest salaries, many lobbyists operating at the state level can earn substantial salaries. The table shows the top lobbyists in one state—Maryland—in 2011.{| class="wikitable" style="float:right;"|+Top Maryland lobbyists (2011)!Lobbyist!IncomeGerard E. Evans${{nts|1232000}}Timothy A. Perry${{nts|1217793}}Joel D. Rozner${{nts|1215161}}Robin F. Shaivitz${{nts|1156368}}Gregory S. Proctor Jr.${{nts|1107144}}John R. Stierhoff${{nts|1059766}}Michael V. Johansen${{nts|1050234}}Nicholas G. Manis${{nts|1016250}}D. Robert Enten${{nts|863193}}Lisa Harris Jones${{nts|857000}}Source: State EthicsCommissionNEWS
, John Wagner
, Evans regains top lobbying spot in Annapolis
, The Washington Post
, January 2, 2012
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Top power-brokers such as Gerald Cassidy have made fortunes from lobbying:

Effectiveness of lobbying

(File:USCurrency Federal Reserve.jpg|thumb|right|There is general agreement that money is a key variable in lobbying.)The general consensus view is that lobbying generally works overall in achieving sought-after results for clients, particularly since it has become so prevalent with substantial and growing budgets, although there are dissenting views. A study by the investment-research firm Strategas which was cited in The Economist and the Washington Post compared the 50 firms that spent the most on lobbying relative to their assets, and compared their financial performance against that of the S&P 500 in the stock market; the study concluded that spending on lobbying was a "spectacular investment" yielding "blistering" returns comparable to a high-flying hedge fund, even despite the financial downturn of the past few years.NEWS
, Brad Plumer
, The outsized returns from lobbying
, The Washington Post
, ...Hiring a top-flight lobbyist looks like a spectacular investment ...
, October 10, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, A 2009 study by University of Kansas professor Raquel Meyer Alexander suggested that lobbying brought a substantial return on investment.Raquel Meyer Alexander, Stephen W. Mazza, Susan Scholz. "Measuring Rates of Return for Lobbying Expenditures: An Empirical Case Study of Tax Breaks for Multinational Corporations", April 8, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2013. A 2011 meta-analysis of previous research findings found a positive correlation between corporate political activity and firm performance.NEWS
, Lux, Sean
, Crook, T. Russell
, Woehr, David J.
, Mixing Business With Politics: A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Outcomes of Corporate Political Activity
, Journal of Management
, doi: 10.1177/0149206310392233 Journal of Management; vol. 37 no. 1 223–247
, January 2011
,weblink
, November 26, 2012
, There are numerous reports that the National Rifle Association or NRA successfully influenced 45 senators to block a proposed rule to regulate assault weapons, despite strong public support for gun control.WEB, Bill Daley, April 19, 2013, Washington Post,weblink Heidi Heitkamp betrayed me on gun control, June 14, 2016, ..Heitkamp ... voted to block legislation to make gun background checks more comprehensive ... along with those of 41 Republicans and three other Democrats — was a key reason the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage ... nine in 10 Americans ... support ... background check... she heard from the gun lobby....., JOURNAL, Barack Obama, April 17, 2013,weblink President Obama's Speech On Gun Control Bill Defeat (Transcript) "Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people.", Time, June 14, 2016, ... That’s why 90 percent of the American people supported it ... the gun lobby willfully lied about the bill. ..., The NRA spends heavily to influence gun policy; it gives $3 million annually to the re-election campaigns of congresspersons directly, and gives additional money to PACs and others to influence legislation indirectly, according to the BBC in 2016.NEWS, January 8, 2016, BBC,weblink US gun control: What is the NRA and why is it so powerful? It is one of the most powerful players in one of the most hotly-debated issues in the US – gun control – but what exactly is the NRA? Here's a quick guide., June 14, 2016, ...The NRA ... officially spends about $3m per year to influence gun policy ... considerable sums are spent elsewhere via PACs and independent expenditures – funds which are difficult to track. ..., BBC News, There is widespread agreement that a key ingredient in effective lobbying is money.NEWS
, Tony Burman
, Burman: Campaign funding in U.S. makes a joke of democracy
, The Star
, December 17, 2011
,weblink
, January 23, 2012
, Toronto
, This view is shared by players in the lobbying industry.}}Still, effectiveness can vary depending on the situational context. One view is that large multiple-issue lobbies tend to be effective in getting results for their clients if they are sophisticated, managed by a legislative director familiar with the art of compromise, and play "political hardball". But if such lobbies became too big, such as large industrial trade organizations, they became harder to control, often leading to lackluster results. A study in 2001 which compared lobbying activity in US-style congressional against European-style parliamentary systems, found that in congressional systems there was an advantage favoring the "agenda-setters", but that in both systems, "lobbying has a marked effect on policies".NEWS
, Helpman, Elhanan
, Persson, Torsten
, Lobbying and Legislative Bargaining
, Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy
, Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 3.
, November 3, 2001
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, yes
,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101002145916weblink">weblink
, October 2, 2010
, mdy-all
, One report suggested that the 1,000 registered lobbyists in California were highly influential such that they were called the Third House.NEWS
, Karen de Sá
, State senator aims to double lobby fee in California – to 14 cents a day
, San Jose Mercury News
, ... California's 1,000 registered lobbyists are so influential they're known as "The Third House." ...
, December 26, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Studies of lobbying by academics in previous decades painted a picture of lobbying being an ineffectual activity, although many of these studies were done before lobbying became prevalent in American politics. A study in 1963 by Bauer, Pool, & Dexter suggested lobbyists were mostly "impotent" in exerting influence. Studies in the early 1990s suggested that lobbying exerted influence only "marginally", although it suggested that when lobbying activity did achieve political impacts, that the results of the political choices were sufficient to justify the expenditure on lobbying. A fairly recent study in 2009 is that Washington lobbies are "far less influential than political rhetoric suggests", and that most lobbying campaigns do not change any views and that there was a strong entrenchment of the status quo.NEWS
, Baumgartner, Berry, Hojnacki, Kimball, Leach
, Lobbying and Policy Change: Who wins, who loses, and why
, The University of Chicago Press
, Washington lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests.
, Back cover
, 2009
, 978-0-226-03946-6
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, But it depends on what is seen as "effective", since many lobbying battles result in a stalemate, since powerful interests battle, and in many cases, merely keeping the "status quo" could be seen as a victory of sorts. What happens often is that varying coalitions find themselves in "diametrical opposition to each other" and that stalemates result.NEWS
, Morten Bennedsena, Sven E. Feldmann, Informational lobbying and political contributions
, Journal of Public Economics
, Volume 90, Issues 4–5, May 2006, Pages 631–656
, May 2006
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, There is anecdotal evidence from numerous newspaper accounts of different groups battling that lobbying activity usually achieves results. For example, the Obama administration pledged to stop for-profit colleges from "luring students with false promises", but with this threat, the lobbying industry sprang into action with a $16 million campaign, and their efforts succeeded in watering down the proposed restrictions.NEWS
, ERIC LICHTBLAU
, With Lobbying Blitz, For-Profit Colleges Diluted New Rules
, The New York Times
, December 9, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, How did the lobbying campaign succeed? Actions taken included:
#spent $16 million #hired "all-star list" of prominent players including Democrats with White House ties #plotted strategy #worked with "fund-raising bundler" Jamie Rubin, a former Obama communications director #won support from influential people including congressperson-turned-lobbyist Dick Gephardt, senator-turned-lobbyist John Breaux, lobbyist Tony Podesta, Washington Post CEO Donald E. Graham, education entrepreneur and University of Phoenix founder John Sperling, others #key leaders made "impassioned appeals" #mobilization effort produced 90,000 public documents to the Education department advocating against changes
And sometimes merely keeping the status quo could be seen as a victory. When gridlock led to the supposed supercommittee solution, numerous lobbyists from all parts of the political spectrum worked hard, and a stalemate resulted, but with each side defended their own special interests.NEWS
, Alex M. Parker
, Super-Committee Lobbying Begins in Earnest
, US News
, October 13, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, And while money is an important variable, it is one among many variables, and there have been instances in which huge sums have been spent on lobbying only to have the result backfire. One report suggested that the communications firm AT&T failed to achieve substantial results from its lobbying efforts in 2011, since government antitrust officials rejected its plan to acquire rival T-Mobile.NEWS
, Jim Puzzanghera
, AT&T finds big-money lobbying, ad efforts don't always pay off
, Los Angeles Times
, ... But the rejection of its proposed $39-billion purchase of T-Mobile USA showed that money can't necessarily buy you love from antitrust officials...
, December 21, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Lobbying is a practical necessity for firms that "live and die" by government decisions, such as large government contractors such as Boeing. A study done in 2006 by Bloomberg News suggested that lobbying was a "sound money-making strategy" for the 20 largest federal contractors. The largest contractor, Lockheed Martin Corporation, received almost $40 billion in federal contracts in 2003-4, and spent $16 million on lobbying expenses and campaign donations. For each dollar of lobbying investment, the firm received $2,517 in revenues, according to the report. When the lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates began achieving results with earmarks for colleges and universities and medical centers, new lobbying firms rose to compete with them to win "earmarks of their own", a clear sign that the lobbying was exceedingly effective.

Lobbying controversies

Lobbying has been the subject of much debate and discussion. There is general consensus that lobbying has been a significant corrupting influence in American politics, although criticism is not universal, and there have been arguments put forward to suggest that the system is working properly.

Unfavorable image

Generally the image of lobbyists and lobbying in the public sphere is not a positive one, although this is not a universal sentiment. Lobbyists have been described as a "hired gun" without principles or positions. Scandals involving lobbying have helped taint the image of the profession, such as ones involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and congressmen Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and Bob Ney and others, and which featured words such as "bribery", "lobbyist", "member of Congress" and "prison" tending to appear together in the same articles.National Public Radio, 2006, STEVE INSKEEP (host), GOP Faces Ney Departure, Leadership Decision, Accessed April 17, 2014, "...Congressman Bob Ney was identified by lobbyist Jack Abramoff in his guilty plea on corruption charges..." Negative publicity can sully lobbying's image to a great extent: high-profile cases of lobbying fraud such as Abramoff's; dubious father-son exchange-of-favors ties; public officials such as Newt Gingrich being accused and then denying accusations of having done lobbying and earning $1.6 million from "strategic advice".NEWS
, Nia-Malika Henderson
, Newt Gingrich insists he did ‘no lobbying of any kind’ while working for Freddie Mac
, The Washington Post
, Gingrich ... earned $1.6 million for providing the lender strategic advice. ...
, December 15, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, There are a variety of reasons why lobbying has acquired a negative image in public consciousness. While there is much disclosure, much of it happens in hard-to-disclose personal meetings, and the resulting secrecy and confidentiality can serve to lower lobbying's status.

Revolving door

(File:HK 中環 Central 中國銀行大廈 Bank of China Building front door 旋轉門 revolving door June-2010.JPG|thumb|right|The image of a revolving door has been used to describe the relation between working in government and for lobbyists.)Since the 1980s, congresspersons and staffers have been "going downtown"—becoming lobbyists—and the big draw is money. The "lucrative world of K Street" means that former congresspersons with even "modest seniority" can move into jobs paying $1 million or more annually, without including bonuses for bringing in new clients.NEWS
, THOMAS B. EDSALL
, The Trouble With That Revolving Door
, The New York Times
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, December 18, 2011
, The general concern of this revolving-door activity is that elected officials—persons who were supposed to represent the interests of citizensWEB,weblink Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service - OECD, 2005, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2018-12-09, —have instead become entangled with the big-money interests of for-profit corporations and interest groups with narrow concerns, and that public officials have been taken over by private interests.In July 2005, Public Citizen published a report entitled "The Journey from Congress to K Street": the report analyzed hundreds of lobbyist registration documents filed in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act among other sources. It found that since 1998, 43 percent of the 198 members of Congress who left government to join private life have registered to lobby. A similar report from the Center for Responsive Politics found 370 former members were in the "influence-peddling business", with 285 officially registered as federal lobbyists, and 85 others who were described as providing "strategic advice" or "public relations" to corporate clients. The Washington Post described these results as reflecting the "sea change that has occurred in lawmakers' attitudes toward lobbying in recent years." The report included a case study of one particularly successful lobbyist, Bob Livingston, who stepped down as Speaker-elect and resigned his seat in 1999. In the six years since his resignation, The Livingston Group grew into the 12th largest non-law lobbying firm, earning nearly $40 million by the end of 2004. During roughly the same time period, Livingston, his wife, and his two political action committees (PACs) contributed over $500,000 to the campaign funds of various candidates.Numerous reports chronicle the revolving door phenomenon. A 2011 estimate suggested that nearly 5,400 former congressional staffers had become federal lobbyists over a ten-year period, and 400 lawmakers made a similar jump.NEWS
, T.W. Farnam,
, Revolving door of employment between Congress, lobbying firms, study shows
, The Washington Post
, September 13, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, It is a "symbiotic relationship" in the sense that lobbying firms can exploit the "experience and connections gleaned from working inside the legislative process", and lawmakers find a "ready pool of experienced talent." There is movement in the other direction as well: one report found that 605 former lobbyists had taken jobs working for lawmakers over a ten-year period. A study by the London School of Economics found 1,113 lobbyists who had formerly worked in lawmakers' offices. The lobbying option is a way for staffers and lawmakers to "cash in on their experience", according to one view. Before the 1980s, staffers and aides worked many years for congresspersons, sometimes decades, and tended to stay in their jobs; now, with the lure of higher-paying lobbying jobs, many would quit their posts after a few years at most to "go downtown."File:Dick Gephardt.jpg|thumb|right|Lawmaker turned lobbyist: Democratic congressperson Dick Gephardt switched to lobbying and has been making millions annually working for clients such as Goldman SachsGoldman SachsAnd it is not just staffers, but lawmakers as well, including high-profile ones such as congressperson Richard Gephardt. He represented a "working-class" district in Missouri for many years but after leaving Congress, he became a lobbyist. In 2007, he began his own lobbying firm called "Gephardt Government Affairs Group" and in 2010 it was earning close to $7 million in revenues with clients including Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Visa Inc., Ameren Corporation, and Waste Management Inc.. Senators Robert Bennett and Byron Dorgan became lobbyists too.NEWS
, Catalina Camia
, Two ex-senators join major lobbying firm
, USA Today
, January 11, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, Mississippi governor Haley Barbour became a lobbyist.NEWS
, Lucy Madison
, Haley Barbour will return to lobbying after governorship ends
, CBS News
, December 22, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, In 2010, former representative Billy Tauzin earned $11 million running the drug industry's lobbying organization, called Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). His bill to provide prescription drug access to Medicare recipients gave major concessions to the pharmaceutical industry: (1)Medicare was prevented from negotiating lower costs for prescription drugs (2) the reimportation of drugs from first world countries was not allowed (3) Medicare D was undermined by a policy of Medigap D. After the bill passed a few months later, Tauzin retired from Congress and took an executive position at PhRMA to earn an annual salary of $2 million.The Legacy of Billy Tauzin -- The White House PhRMA-Deal, Sunlight Foundation, 2010 Many former representatives earned over $1 million in one year, including James Greenwood and Daniel Glickman.

Insider's game

File:Occupy Wall Street spreads to Portland.jpg|thumb|right|Occupy Wall StreetOccupy Wall StreetA similar concern voiced by critics of lobbying is that Washington politics has become dominated by elites, and that it is an "insider's game" excluding regular citizens and which favors entrenched firms.NEWS
, Casey B. Mulligan
, Financial Lobbying and the Housing Crisis
, The New York Times
, May 25, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, ... The study by the I.M.F. economists found that the heaviest lobbying came from lenders making riskier loans ...
, Individuals generally can not afford to lobby, and critics question whether corporations with "deeper pockets" should have greater power than regular persons. In this view, the system favors the rich, such that the "rich have gotten richer, the weak weaker", admits lobbyist Gerald Cassidy. There is concern that those having more money and better political connections can exert more influence than others. However, analyst Barry Hessenius made a case that the excessive for-profit lobbying could be counteracted if there were more efforts to increase nonprofit lobbying and boost their effectiveness. There is so much money that it has been described as a "flood" that has a "corrupting influence", so that the United States appears to be "awash" in interest groups.NEWS
, Ronald J. Hrebenar, Bryson B. Morgan, Lobbying in America
, ABC-CLIO
, see Preface page xv
, 2009
, 978-1-59884-112-1
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, If coalitions of different forces battle in the political arena for favorable treatment and better rules and tax breaks, it can be seen as fair if both sides have equal resources and try to fight for their interests as best they can.NEWS
, Alan Zibel
, Lobbying Titans Square Off Over Loan Limits
, Wall Street Journal
, November 4, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Gerald Cassidy said:A related but slightly different criticism is that the problem with lobbying as it exists today is that it creates an "inequity of access to the decision-making process". As a result, important needs get left out of the political evaluation, such that there are no anti-hunger lobbies or lobbies seeking serious solutions to the problem of poverty. Nonprofit advocacy has been "conspicuously absent" from lobbying efforts, according to one view. Critics suggest that when a powerful coalition battles a less powerful one, or one which is poorly connected or underfunded, the result may be seen as unfair and potentially harmful for the entire society. The increasing number of former lawmakers becoming lobbyists has led Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) to propose {{when?|date=December 2017}} paring back the many Capitol Hill privileges enjoyed by former senators and representatives. His plan{{source needed|date=December 2017}} would deprive lawmakers-turned-lobbyists of privileges such as unfettered access to otherwise "members only" areas such as the House and Senate floors and the House gym.

Choice-making problems

(File:Sign of the Times-Foreclosure.jpg|thumb|right|Studies have linked problems in the housing industry with lobbying efforts.)A concern among many critics is that influence peddling hurts overall decision making, according to this criticism. Proposals with merit are dropped in favor of proposals backed by political expediency. An example cited in the media is the recent battling between food industry lobbyists and healthcare lobbyists regarding school lunches. A group supported by the United States Department of Agriculture proposed healthier lunches as a way to combat childhood obesity by limiting the number of potatoes served, limiting salty foods, and adding more fresh vegetables, but this group was countered by a strong food lobby backed by Coca-Cola, Del Monte, and makers of frozen pizza.NEWS
, KJ Dell'Antonia
, Lobbying Against the Too-Healthy School Lunch
, Slate Magazine
, November 3, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, The food lobbyists succeeded in blocking the proposed reforms, even writing rules suggesting that the tomato paste on a pizza qualified as a vegetable,NEWS
, Paul Harris
, 'America is better than this': paralysis at the top leaves voters desperate for change
, The Guardian
, November 19, 2011
,weblink
, January 17, 2012
, London
, but overall, according to critics, this case appeared to be an example where business interests won out over health concerns. Critics use examples such as these to suggest that lobbying distorts sound governance. A study by IMF economists found that the "heaviest lobbying came from lenders making riskier loans and expanding their mortgage business most rapidly during the housing boom," and that there were indications that heavy-lobbying lenders were more likely to receive bailout funds.NEWS
, Stephen Gandel
, Wall Street and Markets: Did Lobbying Cause the Financial Crisis?
, Time Magazine
, ... The IMF economists found that lenders that lobbied the most also tended to make riskier loans. ... areas of the country dominated by lenders who spent the most lobbying dollars also tended to higher rates of default....
, May 26, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, JOURNAL, Deniz, Igan, Prachi, Mishra, Thierry, Tressel, 2012, A Fistful of Dollars: Lobbying and the Financial Crisis, NBER Macroeconomics Annual, 26, 1, 195–230, 10.1086/663992, 10.1.1.167.2455, The study found a correlation between lobbying by financial institutions and excessive risk-taking during 2000–2007, and the authors concluded that "politically active lenders played a role in accumulation of risks and thus contributed to the financial crisis". Another study suggested that governments tend to protect domestic industries, and have a habit of shunting monies to ailing sectors; the study suggested that "it is not that government policy picks losers, it is that losers pick government policy."JOURNAL
, Richard E. Baldwin, Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, Entry and Asymetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers
, Journal of the European Economic Association
, 5, 5, 1064–1093, 10.1162/JEEA.2007.5.5.1064
, December 13, 2010
,weblink One critic suggested that the financial industry has successfully blocked attempts at regulation in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse.NEWS
, NPR Staff
, Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party: United In Distrust
, NPR
, October 22, 2011
,weblink
, January 23, 2012
,

Governmental focus

File:Pizza.png|thumb|right|Lobbyists collided over school lunches. Pizza can be served to schoolchildren since tomato paste can be considered as a vegetablevegetableCritics have contended that when lawmakers are drawn into battles to determine issues such as the composition over school lunches or how much an ATM fee should be,NEWS
, Tamara Keith
, Banks, Retailers In Lobbying Race Over Debit Fees
, NPR
, May 10, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, more serious issues such as deficit reduction or global warming or social security are neglected.NEWS
, THOMAS B. EDSALL
, Putting Political Reform Right Into the Pockets of the Nation’s Voters
, The New York Times
, December 14, 2011
,weblink
, January 23, 2012
, It leads to legislative inertia.NEWS
, -Tom Ashbrook
, Lawrence Lessig on Money, Corruption and Politics
, 90.9 wbur (Boston's NPR)
, January 2, 2012
,weblink
, January 23, 2012
, The concern is that the preoccupation with what are seen as superficial issues prevents attention to long-term problems. Critics suggested that the 2011 Congress spent more time discussing per-transaction debit-card fees while neglecting issues seen as more pressing.

Methodological problems

In this line of reasoning, critics contend that lobbying, in and of itself, is not the sole problem, but only one aspect of a larger problem with American governance. Critics point to an interplay of factors: citizens being uninvolved politically; congresspersons needing huge sums of money for expensive television advertising campaigns; increased complexity in terms of technologies; congresspersons spending three days of every week raising money;NEWS
, Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News
, Book review: Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig offers plan to smash culture of money in politics
, Chicago Tribune
, December 26, 2011
,weblink
, January 23, 2012
, and so forth. Given these temptations, lobbying came along as a logical response to meet the needs of congresspersons seeking campaign funds and staffers seeking personal enrichment. In a sense, in competitive politics, the common good gets lost:A lobbyist can identify a client's needs. But it is hard for a single individual to say what is best for the whole group. The intent of the Constitution's Framers was to have built-in constitutional protections to protect the common good, but according to these critics, these protections do not seem to be working well:}}File:Jack Abramoff and Lawrence Lessig at "In the Dock" 2011 (3).jpg|thumb|right|350px|Former convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff (left) listens to Harvard law professor Lawrence LessigLawrence LessigLawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School and author of Republic, Lost, suggested that the moneyed persuasive power of special interests has insinuated itself between the people and the lawmakers.NEWS
, Lawrence Lessig
, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It
, Google, YouTube, Huffington Post
, (see 32.06 minutes into the video)
, November 16, 2011
,weblink
, December 13, 2011
, WEB, Lessig, Lawrence,weblink Required Reading: the next 10 years (Lessig Blog), Lessig.org, June 19, 2007, January 23, 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110116071137weblink">weblink January 16, 2011, Lessig, L. (2011) Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140410155637weblink |date=April 10, 2014 }} (New York City: Hachette/Twelve) excerpt He quoted congressperson Jim Cooper who remarked that Congress had become a "Farm League for K Street" in the sense that congresspersons were focused on lucrative lobbying careers after Congress rather than on serving the public interest while in office.NEWS
, Lawrence Lessig
, How to Get Our Democracy Back
, CBS News, The Nation
, February 8, 2010
,weblink
, December 14, 2011
, In a speech, Lessig suggested the structure of incentives was such that legislators were tempted to propose unnecessary regulations as a way to further lobbying industry activity.NEWS
, Lawrence Lessig
, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It
, Google, YouTube
, November 16, 2011
,weblink
, December 13, 2011
, According to one view, major legislation such as proposed Wall Street reforms have spurred demand for "participating in the regulatory process." Lessig suggested the possibility that it was not corporations deciding to take up lobbying, but Congress choosing to debate less-than-important issues to bring well-heeled corporations into the political fray as lobbyists. As a result of his concerns, Lessig has called on state governments to summon a Second Constitutional Convention to propose substantive reform. Lessig believes that a constitutional amendment should be written to limit political contributions from non-citizens, including corporations, anonymous organizations, and foreign nationals.Hill, Adriene (October 4, 2011) weblink" title="archive.is/20120713213901weblink">"Campaign finance, lobbying major roadblocks to effective government" Marketplace Morning Report (American Public Media)Scholars such as Richard Labunski, Sanford Levinson, Glenn Reynolds,NEWS
, James O'Toole
, Constitutional convention call gains traction
, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
, December 12, 2011
,weblink
, December 14, 2011
, Larry Sabato,NEWS
, America's constitution: If it ain't broke
, The Economist
, November 8, 2007
,weblink
, December 23, 2011
, as well as newspaper columnist William Safire,NEWS
, Letter to the editor
, In Defense of John Jay, Our First Chief Justice
, The New York Times
, October 10, 1987
,weblink
, December 23, 2011
, and activists such as John Booth of RestoringFreedom.org have called for constitutional changes that would curb the powerful role of money in politics.

Expansion of lobbying

Law in the United States is generally made by Congress, but as the federal government has expanded during much of the twentieth century, there are a sizeable number of federal agencies, generally under the control of the president. These agencies write often industry-specific rules and regulations regarding such things as automobile safety and air quality. Unlike elected congresspersons who are constantly seeking campaign funds, these appointed officials are harder to influence, generally. However, there are indications that lobbyists seek to expand their influence from the halls of Congress deeper into the federal bureaucracy.NEWS
, Howard Marlowe, president
, (letter from All American League of Lobbyists to President Obama, May 31, 2011)
, docstoc.com
, May 31, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, President Obama pledged during the election campaign to rein in lobbying. As president in January 2009, he signed two executive orders and three presidential memorandaWEB,weblink Archived copy, 2009-06-11, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090610175801weblink">weblink June 10, 2009, mdy-all, Ethics to help ensure his administration would be more open, transparent, and accountable. These documents attempted to bring increased accountability to federal spending and limit the influence of special interests, and included a lobbyist gift ban and a revolving door ban. In May 2009, the Recovery Act Lobbying Rules.WEB,weblink Update on Recovery Act Lobbying Rules: New Limits on Special Interest Influence, Jesse Lee, May 29, 2009, White House, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090610185026weblink">weblink June 10, 2009, mdy-all, The Executive Branch Reform Act, H.R. 985, was a bill which would have required over 8,000 Executive Branch officials to report into a public database nearly any "significant contact" from any "private party." The purpose was to identify lobbying activity.NEWS
, Fredreka Schouten
, Proposed lobbying restrictions upset business groups
, USA Today
, November 22, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, The bill was supported by proponents as an expansion of "government in the sunshine" including groups such as Public Citizen.File:National Association of Realtors building (Washington DC).JPG|thumb|right|The (National Association of Realtors]] is a special interest representing home-selling agents. Photo: its Washington headquarters.)But the proposals ran into serious opposition from various groups including the lobbying industry itself. Opponents argued that the proposed reporting rules would have infringed on the right to petition, making it difficult not just for lobbyists, but for regular citizens to communicate their views on controversial issues without having their names and viewpoints entered into a government database.Memorandum {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070401080352weblink |date=April 1, 2007 }}: "Congressman Waxman advances grave new threat to citizens' 'right to petition' government officials," by Douglas Johnson and Susan Muskett, J.D., National Right to Life Committee, February 20, 2007. Opposition groups suggested that although the proposed rules were promoted as a way to regulate "lobbyists," persons described as a "private party" could be practically anybody, and that anybody contacting a federal official might be deemed to be a "lobbyist". The U.S. Department of Justice raised constitutional and other objections to the bill.Letter from Richard D. Hertling {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070614123520weblink |date=June 14, 2007 }}, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice, to the Honorable Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, March 8, 2007. Opponents mobilized over 450 groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Realtors with letter writing campaigns against the proposed restrictions. Lobbyist Howard Marlowe argued in a "stern letter"NEWS
, Sam Stein
, Lobbying Group For Lobbyists Demands Obama Drop Executive Order On Contracting Donations
, Huffington Post
, June 1, 2011
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, that the restriction on gift-giving to federal employees would create "fear of retribution for political donations":In 2011, there were efforts to "shift regulatory power from the executive branch to Congress" by requiring that any "major rule" which may cost the economy more than $100 million must be decided by Congress with an up-or-down vote.NEWS
, Suzy Khimm
, Would shifting regulatory power to Congress usher in a lobbying bonanza?
, The Washington Post
, December 7, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, But skeptics think that such a move proposed by Republican lawmakers could "usher in a lobbying bonanza from industry and other special-interest groups" to use campaign contributions to reshape the regulatory milieu.

Potential for reform

Critics suggest that Congress has the power to fix itself, but is reluctant to sacrifice money and power. One report suggested that those in control had an "unbroken record of finding ways to navigate around reform laws or turn regulatory standards to their own advantage."

Arguments for lobbying

There are counterarguments that the system is working as it should, despite being rather messy. According to this line of argument, the Madisonian view of politics—in which factions were supposed to compete with other factions—is working exactly as it should. Competing factions, or in this case, competing interest groups, square off. Battling happens within the federal government, but instead of by settling arguments by elections, arguments are settled by powerful interest groups fighting each other, often financially. And it might appear to members of groups which lost in a lobbying battle that the reason for their loss was that the other side lobbied unfairly using more money. There are numerous instances in which opposed lobbies stalemate, and instances in which these stalemates have been seen as a positive result. And sometimes powerful financial interests lose the battle.Lobbying brings valuable information to policymakers, according to another argument in favor of lobbying. Since lobbyists often become highly knowledgeable about a specific issue by studying it in depth over years, they can bring considerable expertise to help legislators avoid errors as well as grasp the nuances of complex issues. This information can also help Congress oversee numerous federal agencies which often regulate complex industries and issue highly detailed and specific rulings. Accordingly, it is difficult for Congress to keep track of what these agencies do. It has been argued that lobbyists can help Congress monitor this activity by possibly raising "red flags" about proposed administrative rulings.JOURNAL, Epstein, David, Sharyn O'Halloran, A Theory of Strategic Oversight: Congress, Lobbyists, and the Bureaucracy, Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, October 1995, 11, 2, 227–255, 764997, Further, congresspersons can quickly gauge where they stand about a proposed administrative ruling simply by seeing which lobbying groups support the proposal, and which oppose it.Another argument in support of lobbying is that different interest groups and lobbyists, while trying to build coalitions and win support, often amend or soften or change their positions in this process, and that interest groups and lobbyists regulate each other, in a sense.But a more general sentiment supporting the lobbying arrangement is that every citizen can be construed as being "represented" by dozens of special interests:(File:History Wikipedia English SOPA 2012 Blackout2 Cropped2.png|thumb|right|350px|This is what users saw when they tried to access English. Wikipedia on January 18, 2012. English Wikipedia participated in a lobbying campaign by blacking out the encyclopedia for a day, and encouraged users to contact congresspersons to support positions it favored as part of an outside lobbying effort.)If powerful groups such as the oil industry succeed in winning a battle in government, consumers who drive gas-powered cars can benefit a bit, according to this view. Even readers of Wikipedia could be conceived as being a special interest and represented by various lobbies. For example, opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act believed that the act might restrict sites such as Wikipedia; on January 18, 2012, as a form of protest and as a way to encourage readers and contributors of English Wikipedia to write their congresspersons, the online encyclopedia was "blacked out for a day as part of an effort to lobby the government.NEWS
, Tiffany Hsu, Andrea Chang
, yes, Websites go dark to protest SOPA, PIPA bills: Thousands of popular websites including Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing have shut down for as long as 24 hours to protest congressional antipiracy bills they say amount to censorship.
, Los Angeles Times
, January 18, 2012
,weblink
, January 19, 2012
, NEWS
, SOPA and PIPA – Learn more
, Wikimedia
, (Screen image when readers tried to access Wikipedia:) ...Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. ...
, January 18, 2012
,weblink
, January 18, 2012
, Another view in support of lobbying is that it serves a helpful purpose as helping guard against extremism. According to this view, lobbying adds "built-in delays" and permits and encourages opposing lobbies to battle. In the battling, possibly damaging decrees and incorrect decisions are stymied by seemingly unhelpful delays and waits.A slightly different view is that lobbying is no different from other professions:

The regulatory environment

Disclosure and domestic regulations

Generally, the United States requires systematic disclosure of lobbying, and it may be one of the few countries to have such extensive requirements. Disclosure in one sense allows lobbyists and public officials to justify their actions under the banner of openness and with full compliance of the law. The rules often specify how much a lobbyist can spend on specific activities, and how to report expenses; many of the laws and guidelines are specified in the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. Transparency and disclosure requirements mean that there are volumes of statistics available for all kinds of analyses—by journalists, by the public, by rival lobbying efforts. Researchers can subdivide lobbying expenditures by numerous breakdowns, such as by contributions from energy companies.NEWS
, via the New York Times
, Most popular lobbying firms for energy policy
, Boston Globe
, 2005
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, Sometimes defining clearly who is a "lobbyist" and what precisely are lobbying activities can be difficult. According to the Lobbying Disclosure Act, several authorized definitions include:
  • Lobbying activities means "lobbying contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in contacts, and coordination with the lobbying activities of others."
  • Lobbying contact means "any oral or written communication (including an electronic communication) to a covered executive branch official or a covered legislative branch official".
Still, distinguishing lobbyists from a strategic adviser can be difficult, since the duties of each can often overlap and are hard to define precisely. There have been issues raised about what constitutes the difference between a lobbyist and a bundler; one report described bundlers as "supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others", and there was a question whether such persons were really lobbyists involved with raising campaign monies for the election of Barack Obama, and whether Obama had broken his own pledge not to receive money from lobbyists.NEWS
, ERIC LICHTBLAU
, Obama Backers Tied to Lobbies Raise Millions
, The New York Times
, October 27, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, The legal ramifications of lobbying are further intertangled with aspects of campaign finance reform, since lobbyists often spend time seeking donations for the reelection efforts of congresspersons; sorting out these issues can pose ethical challenges.There are numerous regulations governing the practice of lobbying, often ones requiring transparency and disclosure. People paid to lobby must register with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House of Representatives within 45 days of contacting a legislator for the first time, or 45 days after being employed. An exception is that lobbyists who earn less than $3,000 per client for each fiscal quarter, or whose total lobbying expenses are less than $11,500 each quarter, do not need to register. Part-time lobbyists are exempt from registering unless they spend more than 20% of their working hours doing lobbying activities in any quarter. If lobbyists have two or more contacts with a legislator as a lobbyist, then they must register. Requirements for registering also apply to companies that specialize in lobbying, or ones that have an in-house lobbyist, particularly if they spend more than $11,500 on lobbying. Generally, nonprofit organizations, other than churches, are exempt from registering if they hire an outside lobbying firm. Filing must be made each quarter, and a separate file is needed for each of the lobbyist's clients, and include information such as the name and title of the client, an estimate of lobbying expenses, and an estimate of income the lobbyist achieved after doing the lobbying.States, in addition, are moving in the direction of greater disclosure and transparency regarding lobbying activities. California has an online database called Cal-Access although there were reports that it has been underfunded.NEWS
, Patrick McGreevy
, CalAccess database for campaign money crashes again ... and again
, Los Angeles Times
, December 9, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, NEWS
, Times' Opinion Staff
, Lobbying ... for just pennies a day!
, Los Angeles Times
, December 28, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Money collected from registration fees are often used to pay for the disclosure services such as Cal-Access.NEWS
, Karen de Sá
, State senator aims to double lobby fee in California – to 14 cents a day
, San Jose Mercury News
, December 26, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, There were complaints in Illinois that the disclosure requirements were often not rigorous enough and allowed lobbyists to work "without public notice" and with possible "conflicts of interest".NEWS
, FREDRIC N. TULSKY, JOHN SULLIVAN
, yes, Disclosure Often Spotty or Inaccurate
, The New York Times
, January 7, 2012
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, Many local municipalities are requiring legislative agents register as lobbyists to represent the interests of clients to local city council members such as in the swing state of Ohio cities such as Columbus and Cincinnati.{{Citation needed|date=May 2011}}Laws requiring disclosure have been more prevalent in the twentieth century. In 1946, there was a so-called "sunshine law" requiring lobbyists to disclose what they were doing, on whose behalf, and how much they received in payment.1946 law (60 Stat. 839) August 2, 1946. Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act The resulting Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946 governed lobbying rules up until 1995 when the Lobbying Disclosure Act replaced it. The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, later amended in 2002 as the McCain Feingold Act, had rules governing campaign contributions. Each branch of Congress has rules as well. Legislation generally requires reports containing an accounting of major expenditures as well as legislation that was influenced; the wording of some of the pertinent laws can be found in {{usctc|2|26}}.WEB,weblink Lobbying Reform: Background and Legislative Proposals, 109th Congress, January 9, 2007, .pdf, R. Eric Petersen, File:American Bar Association Washington DC.JPG|thumb|right|The American Bar AssociationAmerican Bar AssociationLobbying law is a constantly evolving field; the American Bar Association published a book of guidelines in 2009 with over 800 pages.NEWS
, William V. Luneburg, Thomas M. Susman and Rebecca H. Gordon, editors
, The Lobbying Manual: A Complete Guide to Federal Lobbying Law and Practice – Fourth Edition
, American Bar Association
, 2009
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, The laws are often rather specific, and when not observed, can lead to serious trouble. Failing to file a quarterly report, or knowingly filing an incorrect report, or failing to correct an incorrect report, can lead to fines up to $200,000 and imprisonment up to five years. Penalties can apply to lobbyists who fail to list gifts made to a legislator. In other situations, the punishment can be light: for example, Congressional aide-turned-lobbyist Fraser Verrusio spent a few hours in jail after pleading guilty to taking a client to a World Series baseball game and failing to report it.NEWS
, ASSOCIATED PRESS
, Hours-Long Sentence Is Given in Lobbying Case
, The New York Times
, August 6, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, Tax rules can apply to lobbying. In one situation, the charity Hawaii Family Forum risked losing its tax-exempt status after it had engaged in lobbying activity; federal tax law requires charities such as that one to limit their lobbying to 20% of their overall expenditures or else be eligible for being taxed like a for-profit corporation.NEWS
, It's lobbying, and it's taxable (editorial)
, Staradvertiser
, September 21, 2010
,weblink
, January 14, 2012
, Lobbyists sometimes support rules requiring greater transparency and disclosure:
.
Scandals can spur impetus towards greater regulation as well. The Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal, which started in the 1990s and led to a guilty plea in 2006, inspired the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006 ({{USBill|109|S|2349}}). According to Time Magazine the Senate bill:
  1. barred lobbyists themselves from buying gifts and meals for legislators, but left a loophole in which firms and organizations represented by those lobbyists could still dole out gifts and perks;
  2. allowed privately funded trips if lawmakers got prior approval from a commissioned ethics committee;
  3. required lobbyists to file frequent and detailed activity reports and have them posted publicly. The bill was approved in 2006 by a 90–8 vote.
In 1995, the 104th Congress tried to reform Lobbying by passing the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 which defines and requires lobbyists who are compensated for their actions to register with congressional officials. The legislation was later amended by the Lobbying Disclosure Technical Amendments Act of 1998. There were subsequent modifications leading to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. The Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006 ({{USBill|109|HR|4975}}) legislation modified Senate rules, although some senators and a coalition of good-government groups assailed the bill as being too weak.Statement of Reform Groups on Lobbying Legislation Passed by Senate, March 29, 2006. Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 was a comprehensive ethics and lobbying reform bill, ({{USBill|110|HR|2316}}), which passed in 2007 in the House and Congress by a large majority.WEB
, H.R. 2316: Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007
, GovTrack.us
,weblink
, August 2, 2007, A parallel Senate version of the legislation, ({{USBill|110|S|1}}), passed in 2007 by a nearly unanimous vote.NEWS
, Turner
, Trish
, Associated Press
, House Approves Tighter Earmark, Lobbying Rules
, Fox News
, July 31, 2007
,weblink
, August 2, 2007, After the House & Senate resolved their differences and passed an amended revision, President Bush signed the enrolled bill into law ({{uspl|110|81}}).
Some states have considered banning government employees permanently from lobbying on issues they had worked on. For example, there was a proposal along these lines to prevent county employees in Maryland from ever lobbying on issues they had worked on. The proposal insisted that county officials post financial disclosures as well as prohibit gifts from contractors.Jack Abramoff, emerging from prison, has spoken publicly about lobbying. In his view, regulations designed to rein in the excesses of lobbying have not been effective, and reforms and regulations have not cleaned up the system "at all". Abramoff said lobbyists could "find a way around just about any reform Congress enacted", and gave an example:}}A similar view suggested that lobbying reform efforts have been "fought tooth and nail to prevent its passage" since the people with the power to reform would curtail their own powers and income flows.

Foreign lobbying

Since commerce worldwide is becoming more integrated, with firms headquartered in one country increasingly doing business in many other countries, it is logical to expect that lobbying efforts will reflect the increasing globalization. Sometimes foreign-owned corporations will want to lobby the United States government, and in such instances, new rules can apply, since it can be particularly thorny resolving whether national security interests are at stake and how they might be affected.In 1938, the Foreign Agents Registration Act(52 Stat. 631) of June 8, 1938 required an explicit listing of all political activities undertaken by a lobbyist on behalf of any foreign principal. There were serious concerns about lobbying firms representing foreign entities – and potentially values opposed to American principles – after Axis power agitprop was planted in American soils during World War IIThe Harvard Law Reviews Association. " 'Foreign' Campaign Contributions and the First Amendment. Harvard Law Review, 110.8 (1986): 1886–1903 through the efforts of public-relations specialist Ivy Lee's proxy firm "German Dye Trust".Silverstein, Ken. "Their Men in Washington: Undercover with D.C.'s lobbyists for hire". Harpers Magazine. July 2007. As a result, in 1938, the Foreign Agents Registration Act or FARA was passed by Congress, and this law required foreign lobbyists to share information about their contracts with the Justice Department.Silverstein, Ken. "Their Men in Washington: Undercover with D.C.'s lobbyists for hire". Harpers Magazine. July 2007. FARA's mandate was to disclose to policymakers the sources of information that influenced public opinions, policies, and law.Zhang, Juyan. "World system and its agents: An analysis of the registrants of Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004 . 2009-05-26 However, the goal was not to restrict the speech of the lobbyist or the content of the lobbying.Atieh, Jahad. "Foreign Agents: Updating FARA to Protect American Democracy." University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law. pp. 1051–1088, Fall 2009: 1052 Nonetheless, it was estimated that less than half of foreign lobbyists who should have registered under FARA actually did so.By the 1960s, perceived failures in FARA’s enforcement led to public outcry against lobbying excesses, while revelations of foreign bribery circulated regularly well into the early 1970s.Keffer, Jone M. and Hill, Roland Paul. "Ethical Approach to Lobbying Activities of Businesses in the United States", Journal of Business Ethics, 16.12/13 (1997): 1371–1379 This prompted legislation proposed to reduce the autonomy of foreign firms, most of which was not ratified for concerns over a lack of constitutionality. While the House of Representatives passed a ruleBill S. 349 in 1994 by a vote of 315–110 to increase public scrutiny of foreign lobbying, one estimate was that about 75% of lobbyists were exempt from a registration requirement, including individuals representing foreign interests.Dunham, R. S.: 1994, 'Why Lobbying Reform Could Get Lobbied to Death', Business Week, 57File:Donald Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud talk together, May 2017.jpg|thumb|Saudi Arabia spent at least $7.5 million lobbying against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism ActJustice Against Sponsors of Terrorism ActA general trend is that the number of lobbyists representing foreign companies is rising.Zhang, Juyan. "World system and its agents: An analysis of the registrants of Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004. 2009-05-26 The case of Washington’s APCO Worldwide, a firm which represented the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha of Nigeria in 1995 whose regime had hanged nine pro-democracy activists, attracted negative publicity. While current law forbids foreign nations from contributing to federal, state, or local elections, loopholes allow American subsidiaries of foreign corporations to establish so-called separated segregated funds or SSFs to raise money.The Harvard Law Reviews Association. "Foreign" Campaign Contributions and the First Amendment. Harvard Law Review, 110.8 (1986): 1886–1903 According to one view, the definition of which firms are defined as "foreign" was unclear, and the lack of clarity undermines the ability to regulate their activity. Foreign-funded lobbying efforts include those of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Libya, and China lobbies. In 2010, foreign governments spent approximately $460 million on lobbying Congress and the U.S. Government."Lobbying by Foreign Countries Decreases". Roll Call. September 14, 2011. Between 2015–2017, the Saudi Arabia paid million to 145 registered lobbyists to influence the U.S. government."As Trump Travels to Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s D.C. Lobbying Surge Is Paying Off". The Intercept. May 19, 2017. While Congress has tried to quell criticisms against the leverage of domestic lobbying firms by updating domestic lobbying legislation – such as the revision of the Lobbyist Disclosure Act in 1997)Atieh, Jahad. "Foreign Agents: Updating FARA to Protect American Democracy." University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law. 1052 (Fall 2009): 1051–1088—there was a report that its inaction in rectifying loopholes in foreign lobbying regulation has led to scandals. There was a report of an upsurge of lobbying by foreign-owned U.S. subsidiaries against Democratic efforts to limit campaign spending in early 2010.Bravin, Jess and Mullins, Brody. "Foreign Spending on Politics Fought". The Wall Street Journal. January 9, 2010. The proposed was to restrict lobbying by U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms. In 2011, the Chinese firm Alibaba hired a lobbying firm in Washington when it began contemplating a purchase of the U.S. firm Yahoo!.NEWS
, BEN PROTESS
, Alibaba Taps Lobbying Firm
, The New York Times
, December 29, 2011
,weblink
, January 12, 2012
, There was a case in which a lobbying effort described as "extraordinary" was trying to change the designation of a fringe Iranian opposition group from being a terrorist organization to being a benign organization. Lobbyists seeking to downgrade the designation hired influential foreign affairs officials, including former CIA directors, a former FBI director, and others to advocate for the change of designation.NEWS
, SCOTT SHANE
, For Obscure Iranian Exile Group, Broad Support in U.S.
, The New York Times
, November 26, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, But there have been others accused of illegally lobbying for foreign nationsNEWS
, Richard A. Serrano
, Pair charged with illegally lobbying for Pakistan: Two U.S. citizens are accused of secretly being paid by Pakistan's spy service and failing to register as foreign agents. The charges are likely to further strain Washington-Islamabad relations.
, Los Angeles Times
, July 20, 2011
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, or who failed to register as a foreign agentNEWS
, C.M. Matthews
, Former Congressman Gets One Year For Lobbying For Terror Sponsor
, Wall Street Journal
, January 12, 2012
,weblink
, January 13, 2012
, who may face prison time as a result.

See also

References

{{Reflist|2}}

Notes

  1. {{note|fed1}} Federalist No. 10. s:P of s:The Federalist/10|the Dawson edition]] at Wikisource.
  2. {{note|fed2}} Federalist No. 10. s:P of s:The Federalist/10|the Dawson edition]] at Wikisource.
  3. {{note|fed3}} Federalist No. 10. s:P of s:The Federalist/10|the Dawson edition]] at Wikisource.

Further reading

  • Balogh, Brian "'Mirrors of Desires': Interest Groups, Elections, and the Targeted Style in Twentieth-Century America," in Meg Jacobs, William J. Novak, and Julian Zelizer, eds. The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in American Political Theory, (2003), 222–49
  • Baumgartner, Frank R., and Beth L. Leech. Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science (1998), 64–82, reviews the political science literature on interest groups
  • Blanes i Vidal, Jordi; Mirko Draca and Christian Fons-Rosen: Revolving Door Lobbyists, 5th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, July 2010
  • Clemens, Elisabeth S. The People’s Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest-Group Politics in the United States, 1890–1925 (1997)
  • Hansen, John M. Gaining Access: Congress and the Farm Lobby, 1919–1981 (1991);
  • Kaiser, Robert G. "So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government" (2009).
  • Loomis, Christopher M. "The Politics of Uncertainty: Lobbyists and Propaganda in Early Twentieth-Century America," Journal of Policy History Volume 21, Number 2, 2009 in Project MUSE
  • Lux, S., Crook, T. R., and Woehr, D. 2011. Mixing business with politics: A meta-analysis of the antecedents and outcomes of corporate political activity. Journal of Management, 37(1): 223–247.
  • Thompson, Margaret S. The "Spider Web": Congress and Lobbying in the Age of Grant (1985) on 1870s
  • Tichenor, Daniel J. and Richard A. Harris, "Organized Interests and American Political Development," Political Science Quarterly 117 (Winter 2002–3): 587–612 weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100623130723weblink">online
  • Zelizer, Julian E. Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security – From World War II to the War on Terrorism (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Fang, Lee. With These Hires, Congress Becomes Even More Like a Corporation (Feb. 2015), The Nation
  • Fang, Lee. Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? (March 2014). "On paper, the influence-peddling business is drying up. But lobbying money is flooding into Washington, DC, like never before. What’s going on?" The Nation

External links

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