Politics

Study Notes

Lobbying

Level:
A Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Lobbying is the attempt by business, charities, political action committees, individuals and pressure groups to influence politicians in the legislative, or justices in the judicial, to create certain pieces of legislation, loosen regulation, or to rule a certain way in a judicial process.

Lobbying is typically done on behalf of other clients such as businesses or charities, by firms who specialise in lobbying. Most of these firms will have offices in legislative capitals across the United States including Washington DC and State Capitals. In Washington the lobby firms are known as K Street, named after the street in which most lobbying forms have their offices. Lobby firms will routinely recruit former politicians to make use of their contacts that they obtained over their political careers. The movement of former politicians to the lobby firms is part of the revolving door process in US Politics.

Lobbyists will seek to persuade politicians to enact legislation that will be favourable to them or to their clients. This can be done through any number of methods including gifts, meals out, politician donations or by seeking to influence a politicians constituents to demand a change.

In 2014 a total of $3.23 billion was spent by all lobbying firms. The top firms in 2014 were:

  1. US Chamber of Commerce - $124,080,000
  2. National Association of Realtors - $55,057,053
  3. Blue Cross/Blue Shield - $22,218,774
  4. American Hospital Association - $20,773,146
  5. American Medical Association - $19,650,000
  6. National Association of Broadcasters - $18,440,000
  7. National Cable & Telecommunications Association - $17,460,000
  8. Comcast Corp - $17,020,000
  9. Google Inc - $16,830,000
  10. Boeing Co - $16,800,000

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