Lobbying in the United States
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. 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:. He represented a "working-class" district in Missouri for many years but after leaving Congress, he became a lobbyist. Journal of the European Economic Association. 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. The reality is that Hillary earned millions of more votes than Bernie.
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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: 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:. The structure of representative government, elected by the people, was to be our system's built-in protection of the whole of us—fairly elected officeholders were to represent their constituent groups, free from any obligations to special interests.
Unfortunately, money has corrupted the system and compromised both the fairness of the electoral process as well as the independence and impartiality of elected officials. Lawrence 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. As a result of his concerns, Lessig has called on state governments to summon a Second Constitutional Convention to propose substantive reform.
Our current tax system with all its complexities is in part designed to make it easier for candidates, in particular congressmen, to raise money to get back to congress 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. However, there are indications that lobbyists seek to expand their influence from the halls of Congress deeper into the federal bureaucracy. President Obama pledged during the election campaign to rein in lobbying. As president in January , he signed two executive orders and three presidential memoranda  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. But the proposals ran into serious opposition from various groups including the lobbying industry itself. Department of Justice raised constitutional and other objections to the bill. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Realtors with letter writing campaigns against the proposed restrictions.
Lobbyist Howard Marlowe argued in a "stern letter"  that the restriction on gift-giving to federal employees would create "fear of retribution for political donations":. Since your announcement to seek the Presidency you have consistently attacked the honorable profession of lobbying Lobbyists play an important role in the legislative process, serving as educators to elected officials.
It is in the best interest to government to have informed individuals who serve as experts in every arena of public policy. Our ability to access and navigate the legislative process and push issues forward through a bureaucratic cluster is a vital service to the nation.
The Draft Order would inhibit one of the most vital tools in the advocate's arsenal by creating fear of retribution for political donations. Making this kind of disclosure a part of the bidding process tarnishes a competition based on qualifications, adds an unneeded level of bureaucracy, and endangers the protection of free speech afforded to all Americans by the First Amendment of the Constitution 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. 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 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. 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: Every citizen is a special interest Blacks, consumers, teachers, pro-choicers, gun control advocates, handicapped people, aliens, exporters, and salesmen — are all special interests There is not an American today who is not represented whether he or she knows it or not by at least a dozen special interest groups.
One person's special interest is another person's despotism 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, , 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.
Another view in support of lobbying is that it serves a helpful purpose as helping guard against extremism. Generally, the United States requires systematic disclosure of lobbying, and it may be one of the few countries to have such extensive requirements.
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:. 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 are numerous regulations governing the practice of lobbying, often ones requiring transparency and disclosure.
If lobbyists have two or more contacts with a legislator as a lobbyist, then they must register. 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. Laws requiring disclosure have been more prevalent in the twentieth century. In , 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. Lobbying law is a constantly evolving field; the American Bar Association published a book of guidelines in with over pages. Our profession is at a critical point where we can either embrace the constructive changes and reforms by Congress or we can seek out loopholes and continue the slippery slide into history along side the ranks of snake oil salesmen.
Scandals can spur impetus towards greater regulation as well. The Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal , which started in the s and led to a guilty plea in , inspired the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of S. According to Time Magazine the Senate bill:. In , the th Congress tried to reform Lobbying by passing the Lobbying Disclosure Act of which defines and requires lobbyists who are compensated for their actions to register with congressional officials.
There were subsequent modifications leading to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 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. 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 , the Foreign Agents Registration Act  required an explicit listing of all political activities undertaken by a lobbyist on behalf of any foreign principal. A general trend is that the number of lobbyists representing foreign companies is rising. 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  —there was a report that its inaction in rectifying loopholes in foreign lobbying regulation has led to scandals.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Direct lobbying in the United States. History of lobbying in the United States. This section contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information.
Please remove or replace such wording and instead of making proclamations about a subject's importance, use facts and attribution to demonstrate that importance. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. Kaiser in in the Washington Post .
Retrieved January 14, Lobbyists are snuffing our democracy, one legal bribe at a time , Retrieved May 30, , " Retrieved December 3, Former Senator Bob Dole, acting as a foreign agent for the government of Taiwan, worked behind the scenes 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 Lobbyists to Seek U.
Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens". Retrieved January 13, On paper, the influence-peddling business is drying up. But lobbying money is flooding into Washington, DC, like never before. Retrieved January 12, Real advocacy for nonprofits in the new century". Governors, mayors, and intergovernmental lobbying".
Archived from the original on April 14, Center for Responsive Politics. Archived from the original on July 19, Retrieved December 26, Collins jr July Who wins, who loses, and why". The University of Chicago Press. Washington lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests.
Archived from the original on January 31, Farnam July 13, Coming soon to a screen near you — a lobbying campaign". Illinois First Amendment Center. Archived from the original on April 11, The New York Times.
Kaiser; Alice Crites research contributor As lobbying booms, Washington and politics are transformed". Retrieved January 17, The case of employers' pension accounting". Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. Archived from the original on January 18, Archived from the original on May 18, Barry Loudermilk said at a Sept.
Jack Abramoff On Lobbying". Lobbying reforms haven't fixed 'flawed' system". Archived from the original on November 10, Farnam, September 13, Hiring a top-flight lobbyist looks like a spectacular investment Retrieved January 23, Evidence of Continuity and Change in Three States".
Lobbying as Legislative Subsidy. American Political Science Review, , pp 69—84 doi: Archived from the original on December 19, The Price of Civilization. Retrieved March 7, Russell; Woehr, David J. Retrieved November 26, Retrieved June 14, The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people. 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". Campaign funding in U. Archived from the original on October 2, San Jose Mercury News. California's 1, registered lobbyists are so influential they're known as "The Third House. Journal of Public Economics. Parker October 13, Congressman Bob Ney was identified by lobbyist Jack Abramoff in his guilty plea on corruption charges Mulligan May 25, The study by the I.
Did Lobbying Cause the Financial Crisis? The IMF economists found that lenders that lobbied the most also tended to make riskier loans. Lobbying and the Financial Crisis". Why Governments Pick Losers". Journal of the European Economic Association. Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig offers plan to smash culture of money in politics". Google, YouTube, Huffington Post. Retrieved December 13, Archived from the original on January 16, Retrieved December 14, If it ain't broke".
Retrieved December 23, Archived from the original on June 10, Retrieved June 11, New Limits on Special Interest Influence". Hertling Archived June 14, , at the Wayback Machine.
Department of Justice, to the Honorable Henry A. House of Representatives, March 8, Congress, Lobbyists, and the Bureaucracy". 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".
Retrieved January 19, Retrieved January 18, Screen image when readers tried to access Wikipedia: Right now, the U. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. For the record, I have been the subject of some ad hominems myself.
Most Facebook people are fine with the pro-Clinton stuff I post on Facebook. All I can say is, if you're a FB friend of mine and you don't like it, you are free to unfriend me. You are also free not to read or subscribe to this blog. I'm a big boy. I can take it. My worst experience was on Twitter. Someone actually threatened to harm my children because I had the audacity to retweet something from Hillary.
That person was a Bernie Bro. If you think that kind of stuff is OK, you are a Bernie Bro. By the way, if you are one of those people who claim that Hillary "rigged" or "stole" the election, you are engaging in ad hominem attacks. It is a criminal act to tamper with votes, so you are accusing her of being a criminal. The reality is that Hillary earned millions of more votes than Bernie.
She earned hundreds of more pledged delegates than Bernie. She won the vast majority of both open and closed primaries. If there had been no superdelegates at all, but a proportional allocation based on votes, she would have won by a huge margin anyway. The only place where Bernie did really well was in caucuses, which is the most undemocratic way to allocate delegates of them all. Simply put, she won, no matter how you look at it.
In addition, if you are one of those people who call voting for Clinton "the lesser of two evils", you are engaging in an ad hominem attack. You are saying that she is evil, just less so than Trump. That is attacking the person, not the policies. I first came out for Hillary back in February. I said at the time that if Bernie won, I would support him wholeheartedly, because I knew he'd be a better President than Trump.
I have no doubt that had Bernie won, he would have fought for the people. I wouldn't care about the Bernie supporters who insulted me or threatened my kids and hold it against the man himself. If you're concerned about these issues, too, you'll vote for Hillary. I don't want to say what you are if you vote for Trump or a third party because your feelings got hurt in the course of a contentious primary. That would be an ad hominem attack. Trump's Acceptance Speech Leaks! In light of Melania Trump's plagiarism fiasco, it was certain that the remaining Republican speeches would be heavily scrutinized for similar transgressions.
Donald Trump gave his written acceptance speech to his aides to be checked, and some passages have leaked to the media. While the elaborate style of the leaked passages might indicate that some of the words were written by a more eloquent speaker, other passages, as well as the spirit of the words themselves, show that the Donald played a major part in writing it.
Here are some of the more significant passages that were leaked. Wait for applause to die down. Assume a 5 minute ovation. My fellow Republicans and to everyone watching at home. This is indeed a great moment for America. I'm here to say a few words. As you know, words build bridges into unexplored regions. And I have the best words. Some people doubt me because I am rich and have a beautiful wife.
But people forget that I am also smart. I have a great brain that I am going to use to lead this country. So when you see me and Melania, remember that money glitters, beauty sparkles, and intelligence shines. And we are going to shine, believe me. We'll be the shiniest first couple ever, no contest. And with my great brain, I am going to make great decisions, you can count on it. Some worry that I have no political experience, but I will get some help.
But make no mistake--I will be calling the shots. There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons, and the word 'council' must be restored to its original meaning.
Surely every man will have advisers by his side, but the decision will be made by one man. And that one man is me. I make the best decisions. For there is one thing we must never forget--the majority will never replace the man. And I am the man, folks. I know some of you didn't want me to represent you, OK? But you know what? You are all losers. I said I was going to win from the beginning, and who's smiling now? People may not always believe what you say, but they will believe what you do.
And I've done the impossible. I beat 17 other candidates to stand before you today. The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.
Anyway, I'm not here to run people down. I am here to help lead this nation and prevent the disaster this country is becoming, because otherwise, we have no country. The doom of a nation can only be averted by a storm of flowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse such passion in others. And I can arouse passion, believe me. These tiny hands mean nothing. And speaking of passion, we must destroy our enemies. Obstacles do not exist to to be surrendered to, but only to be broken.
And that's how we have to treat our enemies, folks. We'll defeat our enemies by any means necessary. Success is the only earthly judge of right and wrong. And we will have so much success.
You'll be sick of succeeding against our enemies, I can tell you that. We can bring back waterboarding or kill the families of terrorists. Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.