Meet the lobbyists how influence

Lobbying - Wikipedia

meet the lobbyists how influence

Most Americans don't think they've ever met a lobbyist or actually . including Trump, has decried the influence of money and lobbyists. The day before our appointments, we met as a group and received a crash course in the legislation that we would be lobbying for. We were taught why the bill. Private interests seeking to influence government decisions, legislation or the .. to meet evolving public expectations for transparency and integrity in lobbying.

Jenna Raeburn has spent most of her adult life at or very near parliament. After finishing law school she made the short trip over the road to work for National. Raeburn was drawn to the party for its "ability to compromise, rather than sticking hard and fast to principles that weren't going to get anywhere", and its "willingness to accept solutions outside of government". Over time she worked for John Key prime ministerChris Tremain variously minister of internal affairs, local government, tourism and civil defenceand Gerry Brownlee variously minister of defence, transport, energy and resources, and Christchurch regeneration.

Raeburn left parliamentary employment in to become, like Jones, a lobbyist. Jones is the New Zealand director of Hawker Britton, an Australian-based firm which lobbies Labo u r administrations in both countries. They've spent their careers working for opposing political camps, and still only engage with their former employers, but they share more than a vocation — they're ultimately employed by the same multinational.

WPP stands for Wire and Plastic Products because, before the well-paid chief executive took it over in the s as a vehicle for consolidating a large portion of the advertising industry, WPP was in the business of making shopping baskets.

Common ownership facilitates cooperation between what one might think would otherwise be opposed firms. While separate entities, they work, Raeburn says, in tandem.

meet the lobbyists how influence

After the fall of the National government Raeburn had considered closing shop. But she says a lot of clients are still interested in National, even though they are no longer in power. There's an easy complacency in making favourable comparisons of New Zealand government to other English-speaking democracies, whose political trends our own often echo.

Australia, where lesser but still vast sums slosh about Canberra and lawmakers are either absurdly villainous or flamboyantly corrupt.

meet the lobbyists how influence

And the United Kingdom, the "mother" of Westminster democracies, where some politicians are at once members of parliament and paid lobbyists. We can't answer with any accuracy the questions "how many", "how much", and "for whom" about local lobbying. Now that New Zealand has become a seemingly permanent home to two firms which are revolving doors by design to the point where Hawker Britton Australia has been called the "privatised wing of the Labor Party"the story that lobbying is just another professional service, no different to legal and accountancy, may require interrogation.

Deliberately, openly and exclusively politically aligned, the partisan lobbyist is a recent innovation in the government relations industry. According to Barrie Saunders — who was a consultant lobbyist from the early s through toand in-house for other lobbies before that — there are three phases to the recent history of lobbying in New Zealand. Before "it was about how much muscle you had; how much political weight". They were the big powers. He had connections, good connections to the National Party.

He was was what I would call a Wellington Club [lobbyist]. That was the style of operation, the business lunch, that sort of thing. Aftersuccessful lobbying required adherence to "hard-line economic rationalism". In Saunders' view, this economic rationalism lasted until and the departure of Ruth Richardson from Bolger's National government.

From then on economic rationalism remained important but "modified by political reality". A year later he established Saunders Unsworth in Wellington. The competition over the years included Chen Palmer, a "public law" firm bearing the name of former prime minister Geoffrey Palmer, and a few other consultant lobbying firms. Bythe New South Wales Premier's chief of staff and communications director — Messrs Hawker and Britton — had resigned their posts to form a Labor-aligned lobbying firm.

The new model prospered, expanded, and a right-wing equivalent was established in the late s. When Raeburn set up in it was the first time Barton Deakin had established a New Zealand branch, though Jones is not the first local Hawker Britton operator — an office opened under the Clark government and closed on the arrival of Key.

Saunders is at first surprised by the level of cooperation between Hawker Britton and Barton Deakin, unaware they share an owner. But after some reflection he is not so fazed. That's the wonderful thing about the market. Thus Raeburn describes lobbying as a "translation service". And a lot of the time they don't understand each other. The government is passing some legislation which will have an unintended consequence for the business of one of his clients.

As to why her clients can't put their case to government themselves, Raeburn points to the complexity of government processes.

While the Australian mining lobby, the Minerals Council, recently abandoned all pretence and explained it makes political donations in exchange for access to parliamentarians, Jones and Raeburn insist New Zealand lobbying is about neither access nor money.

They say anyone can get a meeting with an MP or a minister provided they have something serious to contribute. But they and other lobbyists do have special privileges, including swipe cards allowing them to more easily come and go from Parliament. And their line that New Zealand democracy is incomparably open reveals itself as more a point of procedure than substance when they reflect on the special skills and sway of an insider compared to New Zealanders generally.

But they may not have much impact.

Lobbying: The Art of Influence

Those services have been available from consultant lobbyists like Saunders or public law lawyers for decades now. There's additional and special value to be had in hiring a partisan lobbyist. History of lobbying in the United States The Federalist Papersin which Framers Madison, Hamilton and Jay strove to sway public opinion, could be considered according to current usage as an outside lobbying effort.

The Constitution was crafted in part to solve the problem of special interests, today usually represented by lobbies, by having these factions compete. James Madison identified a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community", [1] and Madison argued in Federalist No.

There has been lobbying at every level of government, particularly in state governments [42] during the nineteenth century, but increasingly directed towards the federal government in the twentieth century.

The last few decades have been marked by an exponential increase in lobbying activity and expenditures. Inthe Washington Post estimated that there were 13, registered lobbyists, describing the nation's Capitol as "teeming with lobbyists.

meet the lobbyists how influence

These firms usually have some lawyers in them, and are often founded by former congressional staffers, legislators, or other politicians. Corporations[ edit ] Corporations which lobby actively tend to be few in number, large, and often sell to the government. Most corporations do not hire lobbyists. In the first decade of the s, the most lucrative clients for Gerald Cassidy 's lobbying firm were corporations, displacing fees from the appropriations business.

For example, aircraft manufacturer Boeingwhich has sizeable defense contracts, pours "millions into lobbying": Of that sum, 53 percent went to Democrats. Like lawmakers, many lobbyists are lawyers, and the persons they are trying to influence have the duty of writing laws.

Well-connected lobbyists work in Washington for years, know the issues, are highly skilled advocates, [60] and have cultivated close connections with members of Congress, regulators, specialists, and others. They understand strategy and have excellent communication skills; many are well suited to be able to choose which clients they would like to represent. When a client hires them to push a specific issue or agenda, they usually form coalitions to exert political pressure.

As one lobbyist put it: It's my job to advance the interests of my association or client. My style of lobbying is not to have big formal meetings, but to catch members on the fly as they're walking between the House and the office buildings. Access is vital in lobbying. If you can't get in your door, you can't make your case. Here we had a hostile senator, whose staff was hostile, and we had to get in.

So that's the lobbyist safe-cracker method: Many lobbyists become campaign treasurers and fundraisers for congresspersons. This helps incumbent members cope with the substantial amounts of time required to raise money for reelection bids; one estimate was that congresspersons had to spend a third of their working hours on fundraising activity. At the same time, it is hard for outside observers to argue that a particular decision, such as hiring a former staffer into a lobbying position, was purely as a reward for some past political decision, since staffers often have valuable connections and policy experience needed by lobbying firms.

Still, persuasion is a subtle business, requiring a deft touch, and carelessness can boomerang. For example, the guidelines bureaucrats issued to carry out the Medicare drug benefit determined which drugs and medical devices would be covered.

Lobbyists for doctors, hospitals, insurers, drug companies, pharmacies, and medical equipment manufacturers contacted bureaucrats directly about these decisions. Toyota was allowed to recall the floor mats it claimed could become lodged under the accelerator pedal.

Lobbying the Courts Interest groups are affected by court decisions. It matters to them who the judges are in terms of their legal philosophy, policy preferences, and partisan affiliation.

Groups for or against nominees lobby senators to approve, delay, or reject confirmation. Media-oriented tactics include testifying at hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee, feeding negative or positive information about nominees to senators and reporters, sponsoring radio and television advertisements, and organizing grassroots campaigns.

Lauren Cohen Bell, Warring Factions: Ohio State University Press, Interest groups pursue their goals in court. For the advantages and disadvantages of going to the courts, see Julianna S. Gonen, Litigation as Lobbying Columbus: They may challenge a policy, appeal adverse decisions by other branches of government, and file suits against public officials to require them to take or refrain from taking some action. Certain interest groups use the courts as the main way to try to achieve their objectives.

Interest groups may also go to court when they lack influence in the legislative and executive branches. Board of Education For more information on Brown v. Board of Education, see http: Regulation of Lobbying As the opening anecdote from The Simpsons illustrates, interest groups in general and lobbyists in particular receive bad press.

The media send out a drumbeat of criticism featuring stories of corruption and scandals in the relations of policymakers and lobbyists. These are designed to correct abuses, placate the media, and reassure the public. Other Native American tribes hired him, as he worked to defeat legislation to subject them to state taxes. Initial media coverage of Abramoff was favorable. Both stories included criticisms of the lobbyist but depicted the man and his power and accomplishments positively overall.

On February 22,a front-page story in the Washington Post exposed Abramoff in the first of a series of investigative reports that would continue over three years.

How Businesses Do Lobby for Political Influence

The stories revealed that Abramoff had exploited the Native American tribes. Abramoff had used some of the money to bribe members of Congress, make campaign contributions, hold fundraising events, and provide lavish trips, seats in sports boxes, and dinners for members of Congress as well as jobs for their relatives.

On January 3,Abramoff pled guilty to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. The first comprehensive lobbying regulation was enacted in The Legislative Reorganization Act required lobbyists to register their affiliation and record their finances. Later, the Lobbying Disclosure Act required lobbying firms and lobbyists to register with Congress and file reports twice per year listing their compensation, clients, lobbying expenses, and issues they are following for each of their clients.

Only trivial gifts from lobbyists to legislators are allowed. Lobbying Disclosure Act ofPub. Ina series of corruption scandals contributed to the Republicans losing control of Congress. During the election Democrats pledged to reform the culture of Washington, DC. Bush signed a law establishing new ethics and lobbying rules for Congress. Its main provisions bar members from accepting gifts, meals, or trips from lobbyists or the organizations that employ them, requires the filing of lobbying reports on the Internet, and increases the civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply with lobbying laws.

When Barack Obama became president inhe issued an executive order forbidding appointees in every executive agency from accepting gifts, participating for two years on any matter they had worked on in prior employment, lobbying Congress for two years after leaving the administration, and ever lobbying the Obama administration.