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Lobbying Notes

by: Joseph Lucas

Lobbying Notes POLI 368 E01

Joseph Lucas
Interest Groups and Social Movements
Terry Kimel

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About this Document

These are notes from the class of February 24th. This covers the Statutory regulations of lobbying, the informal means of lobbyist regulation, and group participation in bureaucratic rule-making.
Interest Groups and Social Movements
Terry Kimel
Class Notes
political science, Interest Groups and movements.
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This page Class Notes was uploaded by Joseph Lucas on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 368 E01 at University of South Carolina taught by Terry Kimel in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 53 views. For similar materials see Interest Groups and Social Movements in Political Science at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 02/06/16
1 Statutory regulations of lobbyists a b 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 2 Informal means of lobbyists regulation a b c Controlling access Audits Reputations 3 Group participation in bureaucratic rule making Lobbying Statutory Regulations of Lobbying 0 Statutory Regulations are just regulations by law 0 To overcome a lack of information legislators designed to disclosure requirements so they can secure politically relevant information about who a lobbyists represents 0 Traditionally lobbyists for foreign clients utility companies and federal agencies that receive government money have been more closely scrutinized and regulated than other lobbyists 0 First steps to regulating lobbying O O The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 required lobbyists who wanted to lobby Congress to alter shipping regulations to register with the Commerce Department before they could lobby In the late 1930s there were some utility companies who hired high school students to sign names randomly picked from the phone books on postcards sent to members of Congress Some members of Congress wanted a comprehensive bill to deal with lobbying in all industries but ultimately only utility companies were regulated 0 First steps to regulate lobbying O O Lobbyists with foreign clients have to register with the Attorney General s office including extensive accounts of their activities and expenditures every six months including the foreign principle These statues were designed to force lobbyists to reveal politically relevant information about their clients 0 Comprehensive attempts O O 0 Title III of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 mandated that lobbyists register their affiliations and record their finances This was designed to give Congress info On all groups The number of registered lobbyists jumped as a result of the law but it was well known the few lobbyists covered by the law bothered to register Two problems with the law a lack of enforcement and legal challenges In 1954 the Supreme Court defined lobbying for the law as very direct communication between lobbyists and members of Congress Interactions with congressional staff members congressional testimony and grassroots activity was either exempted or largely ignored 0000 O This provided a huge loophole for lobbyists to say they were not technically lobbying and did not have to register There were many attempts after this but none were successful until 1995 The 1995 Lobbying disclosure act requires lobbyists and lobbying firms to file twice yearly reports for each of their separate clients The reports include the amount of money spent and the issues worked on An interesting exception individuals and groups associated with intergovernmental lobbying are not covered The registration data is maintained by the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate so it s just scanned versions of the hard copy This was followed up by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 I The new law requires lawmakers seeking targeted spending projects earmarks to divulge their plans in advance Lawmakers and political committees must identify lobbyists who raise 15000 or more for them within a six month period by bundling campaign donations from many people Bars House and Senate members from taking gifts from lobbyists or their clients Former senators and highranking executive branch officials have to wait two years before lobbying Congress ex House members will have to wait one year Senators and candidates for the White House or Senate have to pay the full share of their use of private planes House members and candidates are banned from accepting trips on private airplanes Lawmakers cannot attend lobbyists funded parties in the their honor during national conventions Prohibits them trying to in uence the hiring of lobbyists for partisan reasons It strips pension benefits from lawmaker of bribery or perjury Both of these major comprehensive changes came after big shifts in party power Republicans won big in 1994 and Democrats in 06 Both times the parties who won campaigned on ending corruption in Washington Lobbying Informal Regulation of Lobbying 0 These very officetooffice legislatorbylegislator I Since they vary the aims and effects are different for each office or legislator I There are three primary ways Controlling access audits and reputations O O Controlling access I Legislators are under no obligation of any kind to meet with a lobbyists I Without Access lobbyists have much less power I Lobbyists argue that without access decisions might be made against their favor Audits I Legislator can have a rule that they will audit the claims of lobbyists from time to time I They will verify that the claims of the lobbyists are true I If there is a possibility of an audit it helps to increase the likelihood that everything will be honest 0 Reputation I Lobbyists state repeatedly that their reputation for honesty and forthrightness are very important to them I Building a reputation of trusts is beneficial because it makes it more likely that new powerful players will talk to you I AS in all things you get credibility in teaspoons and lose it in gallons Lobbying The executive and the Judiciary The federal government posts updates in the Federal register However most people don t read them 0 Lobbyists however do read the register to keep with what is going on Congress has passed a number of laws concerning regulations 0 These include among others the FDA the FAA and the EPA 0 These agencies are designed to implement laws that Congress passes O The agencies in turn making specific rules all which have the force of law People and groups participate in bureaucratic rule making 0 Agencies hold working groups advisory boards and numerous proceedings where details of proposed rules changes are worked out 0 It is the process of changing information into law Sources of information for the bureaucracy O The regulated industries themselves have the best technical information 0 Bureaucratic agencies have a lot of in house expertise 0 Outside experts from academia or industry 0 Public interest groups can provide useful information about reactions to rules and procedures


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