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practice and profession of influencing governmental decisions, carried out by agents who present the concerns of special interests to legislators and administrators. The term originated in the United States of the 1830s, when representatives of interest groups tended to congregate in the lobbies of Congress and state legislatures. It is now used in a broader sense to include attempts to influence any governmental actions.

In the United States lobbying has become an accepted and ubiquitous part of the political system; while federal and state legislators are technically representatives of geographical areas, they spend much of their time with lobbyists, and can be said at times to be responding to interest groups rather than to their constituents, to the degree that legislation drafted by lobbyists is sometimes introduced. Organizations such as corporations, financial institutions, labor unions, professional associations, educational groups, medical interests, farm alliances, and various public interest and social issue groups like Common Cause, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, the National Rifle Association, and the National Coalition for the Homeless maintain permanent lobbies in Washington and in state capitals to protect and further their interests. Lobbyists often deal directly with governmental decisionmakers, supplying technical information, making political threats or promises, and supplying friendship, entertainment, and other favors. Their indirect methods include the use of the mass media and mailing and telephone campaigns (some purporting to come from the "grass roots") and the organization of campaign funding vehicles known as political action committeespolitical action committee
(PAC), U.S. organization formed by a corporation, labor union, or association to raise money for political activity. Funds can be gathered by voluntary contributions from members, employees, or shareholders.
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The potential for corruption, especially bribery of officials, has given lobbying an unsavory connotation and has led to many attempts to regulate it, first at the state and later at the national level. The basic federal law has been the Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946, which requires registration of and regular financial reports from all individuals and agents seeking to influence legislation. In 1995, Congress passed a new bill intended to strengthen registration and disclosure requirements and to include within the definition of "lobbyist" some, e.g., lawyers, who had not previously been so designated.


See V. O. Key, Politics, Parties and Pressure Groups (5th ed. 1964); A. M. Scott et al., Congress and Lobbies (1966); S. Farkas, Urban Lobbying (1971); G. Wooton, Interest Groups (1971); M. T. Hayes, Lobbyists and Legislators (1984); C. Barnes, The Politics of Policy-Making and Pressure Groups (1987); R. G. Kaiser, So Damn Much Money (2009).

References in periodicals archive ?
She should have weighed the policy implication of the Philippines withdrawing from the ICC from appeasing lobby groups.
At least three lobby groups have rejected Uhuru's proposed Cabinet by filing petitions in court to bar Parliament from vetting the nominees on Thursday and Friday.
But speaking to the DailyNation, Mr Chacha asked the lobby groups to probe all counties mentioned in the report.
The scientific Alliance is a lobby group for big business (SourceWatch, 2012) Interestingly, the Adam Smith Institute is also a large big business lobby group.
Co-chairman of industry lobby group NZRise, Paul Ramsay, said, "all engagement" of that nature was to be promoted, but the industry also sought to be able to communicate directly with Revenue Minister Todd McClay on the project.
The jailed OFWs sent the names and contact numbers of their relatives in the Philippines to Migrante to help them form a lobby group to liaise with concerned government agencies and to seek help from President Benigno Aquino," Monterona said.
The meeting was organized by Danish group Climate Sense and the lobby group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).
I'm concerned about the divisive interference from lobby groups who will be renting space in our hotel," said Canon Robert Falby from the diocese of Toronto.
Instead, it was the EU farmers and agricultural cooperative lobby groups COPA and COGECA that filled this role.
Media-savvy lobby groups such as ACTRA and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association leaned heavily on provincial governments with public demonstrations, while production houses made noises about moving to more tax-friendly provinces, causing British Columbia to increase its credit on foreign productions from 11 to 18 per cent while increasing domestic credits from 20 to 30 per cent.
Since EGALE was one of the gay lobby groups suing the government in the first place, to allow them to influence the government's legal strategy was a shameless conflict of interest.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-6 October 2004-Two Finnish IT lobby groups suggest tax deductibility on Internet connections - report(C)1994-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.