Lobbyists work on the behalf of their clients or the groups they're representing to convince the government or others involved in public policy development to make a decision that is beneficial to them.
From politics to lobbying
"Election to Congress used to be an end in itself. Now, for nearly half of federal lawmakers, it is a steppingstone to a second career: lobbying," the Washington Post reports. According to a new study by LobbyingInfo.org, a project of the liberal group Public Citizen, 43 percent of Congressional members who have left office since 1998 have registered to lobby. "The revolving door is spinning faster than ever," said Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. "When nearly half the lawmakers in Congress use their position to move into a job that pays so handsomely, it's time to change the system."
Lobbying at State level
"Vested interests are working harder than ever to achieve their goals in state capitols and state agencies across the country," the Center for Public Integrity reported in 2005. The organization's review of 2004 lobbying activities found that nearly $953 million was spent "attempting to influence state legislators and executive branch officials" in the 42 states that track such spending. Twenty-five states saw an increase in lobbying expenditures. State-level lobbying has grown to the point where there are now, on average, "five lobbyists and almost $130,000 in expenditures per state legislator." Several states did boost their oversight of lobbying in 2004, by strengthening registration and disclosure requirements, establishing a "cooling-off period" for former lawmakers planning to become lobbyists, or restricting lobbyists' gifts to public officials. 
Lobbying: a real growth industry
"U.S. corporations and interest groups spent a total of $1.16 billion to lobby Washington in the first half of 2005, setting a record." From January through June 2005, "corporations, trade associations, lawyers and unions spent about $6.5 million a day to lobby Congress and the Bush administration." Since 1999, lobbying spending has increased an average of 10 percent each year. But the first half of 2005 alone saw an eight percent increase over the previous six months. 
Top lobbyists were AARP ($27.8 million, "mainly to defeat the Social Security plan"), General Electric ($13.9 million, on the "asbestos-litigation overhaul and tax policy"), the United States Telecom Association ($11.4 million), U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($8.6 million, plus another $9.5 million through its Institute for Legal Reform), American Medical Association ($9.5 million), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. ($7.3 million) and Altria ($6.7 million). 
Selected lobbying firms
- Texas Ethics Commission 2004 list of lobbyists
- Sam Adcock
- Morris Amitay
- Abigail Blunt
- Nick Calio
- Kenneth Cole
- Rodger Currie
- Brian Dailey
- Priya Dayananda
- Don Duncan
- Nancy Dorn
- Duane Duncan
- Robert Foosaner
- Matt Gelman
- Bob Helm
- Ed Hill
- Tod Hullin
- Mark L. Keam
- Tim Keating
- Ray Kogovsek
- Bill Lane
- Lori Lane
- Tim McBride
- Tim McKone
- Scott Miller
- Ziad Ojakli
- Steve Patterson
- Peter Rubin
- Sarah Thorn
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- American League of Lobbyists
- Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists
- Barack Obama/on lobbyists
- Business-Government Relations Council
- Byrd Amendment on government lobbying (U.S.)
- Financial industry lobbying
- lobbying firms
- Lobby group
- Lobbying by universities and colleges
- Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995
- Lobbying for foreign interests
- Lobbyist Disclosure
- Lobbyist regulations
- Regulating lobbying
US databases on lobbyists
- Michael Beckel, "Lobbyists Earn $1.3 Million Per Hour As Lawmakers Log Long Days," Opensecrets, February 16, 2010.
- Barbara Gunnell, "In Brussels, the lobbyocracy rules", New Statesman, February 7, 2005.
- Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "The Road to Riches Is Called K Street: Lobbying Firms Hire More, Pay More, Charge More to Influence Government", Washington Post, June 22, 2005.
- Public Citizen, "Members of Congress Increasingly Use Revolving Door to Launch Lucrative Lobbying Careers: 43 Percent of Lawmakers Who Left Office Since 1998 Have Become Lobbyists, Public Citizen Analysis Shows", Media Release, July 28, 2005.
- Brad White, "Congressional Revolving Doors:The Journey from Congress to K Street", Public Citizen, July 2005.
- Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "Hill a Steppingstone to K Street for Some More Ex-Lawmakers Who Join Private Sector Are Becoming Lobbyists, Study Says", Washington Post, July 27, 2005; Page A19.
- Neil Gordon, "State Lobbyists Near the $1 Billion Mark: Laws in flux for 19 states", Center for Public Integrity, August 10, 2005.
- Margaret Warner, "The Washington Lobbying World", "NewsHour", PBS, January 6, 2006.
- "The Work and Ethics of Lobbyists", All Things Considered, NPR, January 9, 2006. (An interview with Mike Berman president of The Duberstein Group.
- Brody Mullins, "U.S. Lobbying Tab Hits a Record Bush's Social Security Plan, Tort-Reform Issues Drive Washington Spending Spree", Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2006. (sub req'd)