ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lobbyist and Its Influence Our Democracy

Updated on August 14, 2019
Tiffany Dian Payne Bph profile image

American democracy can be confusing. I am here to share my knowledge so the people can understand how the system works

Lobbyist

Lobbyist: Using Money to Influence Our Democracy

Introduction

The 1st Amendment: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly and Petition.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

-Congress September 25, 1789

Lobbyist are people that attempt to influence political leaders to pass or oppose legislation. Once upon a time, this was a benefit to our democracy, today lobbying is becoming more about personal gain. As our world continues to advance in media and technology, lobbyist is using money, power as influence to persuade political officials. The influence lobbying has on our democracy, should we have more stricter regulations?

Topography of Lobbying in Modern Public Policy

Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 as amended by the Honest Leadership open Government Act of 2007, requires electronic filing for any organizations that participates in lobbying. When lobbyist files they must include:

  • General Lobbying Issues
  • The Chamber of congress and federal agencies contacted
  • Specific issues lobbying has engaged

The misfortune of this Act does not require these companies to disclose the identities of the political contacts. Today, with so much corruption, there needs to be a new rule that lobbyist is required to disclose political officials. This information can show where each politician stands on their views on policy. Lobbying today is not for the people, by the people, it for the organizations and personal gains of the politicians. Lobbyist can use tactics that can change the publics tomography in our democracy. According to Terrance G. Gabel and Clifford D. Scott (2011), one example of tactics used, is Issue advocacy Advertising and other political communications pertaining to an issue aimed at influencing public perceptions of politicians or garnering support for sponsor’s view on the issue. This tactic helps politicians get their views to the public while saving money as well. They can use the saved money for other projects. This seems like a great way to get views on policy out to the people, but today more lobbyist is using money to buy these officials to speak on behalf of their views for person gain of the organization.

Lobbying Interest Groups in American Politics

Interest groups in American politics is growing at an alarming rate and can impact the future of our democracy. In 2012, nonprofit group Planned parenthood spent large sums of money to promote their political views. Today we are seeing more donations being channeled through nonprofit organizations. This is because non profit organizations fall under the IRS code 501(c), which limits their engagement in political activities. Donors to these organizations have started channeling money to nonprofit organization that can be linked to a political official. These donations to the nonprofit organization do not disclose the donor and is considered dark money in political. Political officials may create a nonprofit organization to receive donations from major companies that can assist in promoting the candidate’s views. The IRS tax code is opening doors for dark money to continue in our democracy which can affect the people it is supposed to serve. As stated by Drew Dimmery and Andrew Peterson (2016), Crossroads GPS, a conservative 501(c)(4) organization, for example,

spent $190 million overall as reported to the IRS in 2012 but reported to the federal election commission (FEC) that only around $70 million of that was election- related spending. One can only imagine other groups using their nonprofit status for money laundering. Lobbying with money has doubled in our democracy, but the soft money has declined which indicates that more companies are going the dark route for political officials.

Lobbying Bureaucrats

Federal bureaucracy is the complexed organizations of the appointed, meaning these positions are not elected by the people. These are the small desk employees of government such as the US postal service, Amtrak, Federal trade commission etc. With an estimated of 2.6 million people working in this branch, they are responsible for administering the law. The iron triangle is bureaucrats, and congressional subcommittee members work exclusively together to enact policies acceptable to the members of the triangle. One may assume lobbying only happens to higher political officials, but this is false lobbying can also be directed to the subgovernment. Bureaucracy can also lobby the lobbyist by mobilizing interest groups of their own. This influence on democracy can have major impact on the people. If combined with money and some federal power of this branch, one can get laws pass on their behalf. Being the subgovernment still gives one power to control the outcome. Also these officials are appointed and not elected by the people, so they are chosen to carry out the views of the administration that appointed them. This is also dangerous for our democracy because these encounters happen behind close doors.

The Role of the Media and Lobbying

We are in an era of social media such as Twitter and FaceBook. We also are attached to our cell phones that gives us instant access to information. Many are just an app away of being influenced by lobbyist. Using the media is becoming popular everyday and lobbying through these communication tools can either hurt or help in influencing the public on policy. One may use social media as way spread awareness, get feedback on your views and widen your audience. This also opens the door for corruption in democracy. Today, our government uses Twitter to get daily information out to the public. The president will tweet messages that threatens other public officials and make false statement for personal gain. Social media is having a big impact on the people and if not regulated soon, I fear our democracy will continue to suffer.

Should we have more stricter regulations on lobbying? Yes, as technology advances in today’s era, we need to start acting on how information about policy is being injected into the public. Lobbying influence will continue to grow if we do not put regulations on the special interest groups. Even with nonprofit organizations, lobbying is becoming corrupt by using these organization to fund political officials’ campaign. Our fathers did not plan on this when they wrote the constitution, so it is up to the people to start fighting for regulations on lobbyist and their influence on our democracy.

Lobbyists

Facts about Lobbyists

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)