Seven Reasons To Hire a Lobbyist
1. Your phone call and letters don’t do much
Calling or writing your member of Congress only goes so far. The person answering the phone or reading the letter is most likely an 18-year-old unpaid intern who was trained to recite answers and plug your letter into an excel spreadsheet.
Maybe the chief of staff or even the elected official will look the total number of letters at the end of the week, but it really doesn’t make an impact. The same goes for the tweets, Facebook posts, online petitions, pre-written emails, or other grassroots advocacy efforts. Typically, the only good is to give the organization your email so they can ask you for money later down the road.
2. Getting a bill signed into law is extremely hard
For a bill to become a law, it has to go through votes in the House and the Senate, go through subcommittees who have jurisdiction, get approval of powerful committee chairmen and chairwomen who control everything their committee oversees, and get the blessing of party leaders who can stop any bill in its track if they think it won’t advance the partisan goals. To navigate this extremely complex process, there needs to be somebody familiar with all the moving parts and playing quarterback to make sure the bill overcomes the unavoidable roadblocks.
3. Lobbyists Know How To Write Laws
When a congressional staffer needs background about a policy or wants advice on writing a complex bill, they reach out to the people who know the issue best. For a congressional staffer who works on hundreds of policies at once, these "Subject Matter Experts" (SMEs) are extremely valuable resources. These policy experts can wield a lot of influence because Congressional staffers call them when they have a question on an issue or a specific piece of legislation. Lobbying firms have started paying SMEs lots of money to work for them and look out for their interests when they are working with staffers on their specific policy. Most lobbyists also have subscription services like Congressional Quarterly, Quorum or Bloomberg Government, which provide valuable information and insight about what is going on in Congress.
4. Lobbyists Know The Committees