By Jack Stephenson
Lobbyists are portrayed as corrupting, immoral, sleazy low lives. In reality, Lobbyists are a representation of how strong our democracy actually is. Lobbyists make a living off of the first amendment right to make their voice heard.
First, it is time to clear the air about how Lobbyists are seen. A Lobbyist cannot pass any bill into law. They cannot change the protocol of Legislature in order to transcend into Congress without an election and enforce their political agenda to destroy our country. If you have a problem with a law or with Congress, take it up with your representative. Congressmen pass or fail bills, not Lobbyists. They have the final say, they are the vote casters. The Lobbyist can only ask them to consider a possible change of perspective.
Now, onto what a Lobbyist actually does. A lobbyist is hired or volunteers to represent an interest group. An interest group is an organized party that has political interests. That can be a company like Target or 3M, or an action group like NRA.
These interest groups ask the Lobbyists to go to local Congressmen in order to pass laws that interest group would like to see pass. They also try to convince Congressmen of bills that shouldn’t be passed if they go against the interests of the interest group. Like any citizen can, they testify in committee for or against bills. Lobbyists explain and justify the position of the interest group to the committees, but they cannot testify on a bill when it is on the floor in the House or Senate. Lobbyists write up position papers and speaking points for the Congressmen so their opinion can still be heard.
Lobbyists are simply voicing an opinion. This is a right protected in the First Amendment of the Constitution. The right to try to influence what passes into law is a fantastic privilege that goes unappreciated because of the bad rap that has fallen on Lobbyists. If there is a problem, the responsibility ultimately falls on our representatives in Congress.