History Of The United States Green Party

Lobbying is defined as an effort to achieve some specific end. In politics, lobbying is vying for a specific act of legislation or a specific goal and attempting to influence the decision of government regarding that legislation or goal.

The term “lobbying” comes from the fact that many lobbyists work out of building lobbies and corridors, waiting to speak with officials.

Because of past corruption and scandals, legislation has been made that regulates and monitors lobbying. Lobbyists and the groups they work for must report any contributions and expenditures that they make.

Concerns About Lobbying

Lobbyists often have connections with organizations, corporations and political action committees (PACs) that contribute money to campaigns. This means that sometimes politicians may be swayed not just by the information the lobbyist presents and the support behind the issue but also by the possibility of monetary contributions.

Corruption and negative images have been associated with many lobbyists and lobbying campaigns in the past as a result of this connection.

Types of Lobbying

Lobbying can be done in the following manners, among many others:

  • in writing
  • orally
  • through campaigning
  • through research.

Lobbying can also be direct or indirect:

  • Direct lobbying appeals, as the name suggests, directly to an authority, such as a member of Congress, or to a government decision-making body.
  • Indirect lobbying generally appeals to the general public. If the general public agrees on an issue, then it is thought that the government or a specific official will also agree on the issue.

Lobbying can be organized by established groups or PACs, or it can be done in the form of grassroots lobbying. Grassroots lobbying is done by volunteer members of the public to try to influence government views or legislation. Grassroots lobbying is not regulated by the government, though legislation is under consideration to do so.

Lobbying Advances

Technology, more specifically the Internet and the advances of e-mail, have made lobbying efforts much more effective and widespread.

The Internet makes it easy for lobbyists to communicate with other lobbyists and to gather volunteers from all over the country. Information can also be spread quickly and efficiently through e-mail and the posting of Web sites.

Popular Lobbying Issues

Among the most successful and popular lobbying issues are:

  • anti-abortion lobbying
  • banking interests
  • consumer interests
  • environmental issues
  • freedom of choice lobbying
  • gun lobbying
  • labor unions and worker interests
  • pro-Israel lobbying.

Lobbyist Targets and Strategies

Lobbyist must differentiate their strategies depending on the type of official or group they are approaching. Lobbyists do not only give information to people who share their own views: They try to convince the undecided and even try to prevent people from joining the opposition.

Lobbyists try to convince officials who agree with their cause to help spread the message. They may provide the best arguments and research to these officials to make that job easier for them.

For those who are on the fence about a particular issue, lobbyists provide their most persuasive arguments and evidence to attempt to sway the official to share their opinion.

As for opponents of the lobbyist, the lobbyist tries to highlight the most radical parts of the opponent’s position to attempt to show others why they should not side with the opponent.