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Lobbyists - Book Report/Review Example

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The book with the title "Mobilizing Interest Groups in America: Patrons, Professions and Social Movements" written by Jack L. Walker provides readers a clear description of the role and importance of lobbyists as well as their effects in the political arena…
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Lobbyists
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Download file to see previous pages This contains data on how influential lobbyists are in the Congress and how their presence and influence affects the passage of bills and laws to the Congress.
The two books are well-written and organized. The sections of each boom are properly marked with headings. The book by Walker includes active concept check sections and active example sections to check for readers' understanding of the topics. Aside from this, it includes tables and graphs gives clear descriptions of some concepts that are better presented in a different manner other than in paragraph form of writing.
Washington is a labyrinth of interest representatives - lawyers and law firms; independent consultants; public and governmental relations firms; business, professional, and trade associations; and advocates of special causes. It is estimated that more than 14,000 people in Washington fit the definition of lobbyist, a person working to influence government policies and actions. These figures suggest at least twenty-five lobbyists for every member of Congress.
Lobbyists in Washington D.C. represent a broad array of concerns. They share a common goal - to influence the making and enforcing of laws - and common tactics to achieve this goal. Many lobbyists are the employees of interest-group organizations who devote all of their efforts to their sponsors.
Some lobbying organizations rely heavily on their campaign contributions to achieve lobbying power; others rely on large memberships and still others on politically active members who concentrate their attention on a narrow range of issues.
Other lobbyists are located in independent law, consulting, or public relations firms that take on client for fees. Independent lobbyists, especially law firms, are often secretive about whom they represent, especially when they represent foreign governments. Lobbyists frequently prefer to label their activities as "government relations", "public affairs", "regulatory liaison", legislative counseling", or merely "representation".
In reality, many independent lawyers and lobbyists in Washington are "fixers" who offer to influence government policies for a price. Many are former government officials -former Congress members, cabinet secretaries, White House aides, and the like - who "know their way around". Their personal connections help to "open doors" to allow their paying clients to "just get a chance to talk" with top officials.
REGULATION OF LOBBIES
The Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of the right "to petition the government for redress of grievances" protects lobbying. But the government can and does regulate lobbying activities, primarily through disclosure laws. The Regulation of Lobbying Act requires lobbyists to register and to report how much they spend, but definitions of lobbying are unclear and enforcement is weak. Many large lobbying groups - for example, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Bankers Association, and Americans for Constitutional Action - have never registered as lobbyists. These organizations claim that because lobbying is not their principal activity, they need not register under the law.
In addition, financial reports of lobbyists grossly underestimate the extent of lobbying in Congress because the law requires reports only of money spent for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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