Why hire lobbyists?
We hire professionals to do work for us everyday. We pay people to fix our cars, cook our food, do our taxes, and even drive us around town. Why shouldn't we do the same when it comes to trying to influence government?
a lobbyist is somebody you pay to try to influence government. Lobbyists are good at what they do. They are typically policy experts, lawyers, former staffers, or even former members of Congress. Lobbyists know how the system works; they know what needs to happen to change policy, and they have spent years building the relationships needed to be influential. If we can get
lobbyists working on our behalf, we will have a stronger voice in government and more influence over policies and legislation.
Lobbying is defined as the act of as trying to influence a politician or public official on an issue.
How does Lobbyists 4 Good work?
We created a crowdfunding platform for everyday people to hire lobbyists. Here's how it works:
1) Individuals submit a campaign proposal through our website.
2) If the campaign proposal meets
our Founding Principles, we'll host the campaign on our platform.
lobbying campaigns start raising money to hire lobbyists.
4) On average, every $100 raised results in an hour of lobbying for your issues.
5) Continue to fundraise until your issue is passed or the new law is passed.
Why don't you focus your efforts on making lobbying illegal?
Surprisingly, we get asked this question a lot! The reason we don't focus on this is that we wouldn't succeed.
First of all, Congress would never pass a law banning lobbying. So many industries and people rely on hiring professionals as their main way of contacting government that it would face too much (well-funded) opposition to succeed. Second of all, the Supreme Court would overturn any law banning lobbyists. The First Amendment not only protects free speech, but it also protects people's right to "petition government for a redress of grievances." Making lobbying illegal would violate the First Amendment and therefore can't be done!
We don't believe the problem is lobbying per se, we think the problem is who's hiring the lobbyists!
Large companies and special interest groups spend billions of dollars every year to hire lobbyists. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 of those organizations represent business or business interests. Everyday folks can not compete with that type of organized effort. Corporate lobbyists are everywhere, and they work hard to make sure their clients are being looked after. We need an equally strong force working for the people to make a difference!
Are lobbyists unethical?
The stories you have heard in the news certainly suggest lobbyists are unethical. Unfortunately, the stories of corruption and bribery are the only things people know about lobbyists and lobbying. If you look at the facts, however, over the past 12 years, there have only been a handful of instances of corruption among the 10,000 or so registered lobbyists. It's really only a small group of bad apples that give lobbyists and lobbying a bad name.
If you don't believe me, will you believe researchers from Harvard University? They conducted
a study in 2015 about lobbying and tried to find out
why lobbyists are so influential. They came to the following conclusion:
"Contrary to public misconception, the daily life of a lobbyists is not filled with glamorous parties and smoke-filled backroom politicking where lobbyists engage in quid pro quo transactions of money for policy. Rather... lobbyists focus their professional attention on honing the fine art of building relationships."
The researchers also went on to say this about political contributions and bribery:
"Again, contrary to public misconception, lobbyists did not engage in quid pro quo bribery of public offices. Lobbyist participants engaged in extensive formality to frame support as gifts between political and legislative allies and friends.... The general sense is that providing support in small amounts, at the “right” moments, served to build trusted relationships over time and to offset any inconvenience caused by taking the lawmaker’s time. A transaction or quid pro quo exchange, like borrowing money from a family member, would serve to undermine the relationship, and thus, it was to be avoided at all costs."
What is the Lobbyists 4 Good Education Fund
To comply with rules and regulations that govern nonprofits, we are technically two separate organizations.
Lobbyists 4 Good is a crowdfunding platform and a registered 501 (c) 4 nonprofit organization. 100% of all donations go towards paying the lobbyists' fees and therefore are not tax deductible.
Lobbyists 4 Good Education Fund is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization that promotes civic engagement, educates people on effective advocacy strategies, and raises awareness about the important issues being hosted on the Lobbyists 4 Good platform. Lobbyists 4 Good Education Fund does not lobby but will, on occasion, spend money on lobbying-related activities like covering credit card transaction fees of the Lobbyists 4 Good platform and promoting their campaigns. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made through the PayPal Giving Fund.
What makes lobbying so effective?
Corporations or business groups that hire lobbyists have seen anywhere from 22,000% to 76,000% return on their investment through tax breaks, subsidies or other favorable policies.
There are three main reasons lobbyists are so successful.
Relationships: A Harvard University study found that relationships, not donations, is the reason lobbyists are influential in government.
Policy Experience: Congressional offices are so short staffed that staffers must rely on outside help, which means they rely on the lobbyists to help them succeed at their jobs and write complex laws.
Know the System: Lobbyists have an in-depth understanding of the committee structure, bill markups, amendments, and the legislative process. This information is invaluable when influencing Congress.