On the advantages of a well-constructed lobbying system: toward a more democratic, modern lobbying process
- 172 Downloads
The American lobbying information processing system is woefully outdated. The mechanisms by which citizen, interest group, and business concerns are incorporated into the policymaking process have largely not been updated in over 200 years. Lobbyists set up meetings with staffers and members of Congress and share position papers with them about their arguments on a given policy issue. There is no central location where staffers can find out who is lobbying on a given bill and what they are arguing. In this paper, we make the case for a new information processing system that would provide Congress with a more efficient and effective way to manage the information flooding the Hill, and which would ensure more transparency about who is lobbying on any given bill and what they are saying. If used effectively by Congress, watchdog groups, and journalists, this system could result in better representation for a more diverse group of citizens.
KeywordsLobbying reform Transparency Corporate lobbying Money in politics Congressional capacity
- Allard, N.W. 2008. Lobbying is an honorable profession: The right to petition and the competition to be right. Stanford Law and Policy Review 19 (1):23–68.Google Scholar
- Baumgartner, F.R., J.M. Berry, M. Hojnacki, B.L. Leech, and D.C. Kimball. 2009. Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Congressional Management Foundation. 2013. Life in congress: Aligning work and life in the U.S. house and senate.Google Scholar
- Drutman, L. 2015b. How corporate lobbyists conquered American democracy. The Atlantic, retrieved January 25, 2017, from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/how-corporate-lobbyists-conquered-american-democracy/390822/.
- Drutman, L., and S.M. Teles. 2015. A new agenda for political reform, The Washington Monthly, retrieved February 27, 2015, from http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchaprilmay_2015/features/a_new_agenda_for_political_ref054226.php?page=all.
- Heinz, J.P., R.H. Salisbury, R.L. Nelson, and E.O. Laumann. 1993. The hollow core: Private interests in national policy making. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Jones, B.D., and F.R. Baumgartner. 2005. The Politics of Attention: How Government Prioritizes Problems. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Lowe, W. 2009. Yoshikoder, Software for multilingual content analysis, Version 0.6.3., http://www.yoshikoder.org/. Accessed on 4 May 2009.
- Mahoney, C. 2008. Brussels versus the Beltway: Advocacy in the United States and the European Union. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
- Olson, M. 1965. The logic of collective action: Public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Schlozman, K.L., and J.T. Tierney. 1986. Organized Interests and American Democracy. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
- Wilson, J.Q. 1980. The politics of regulation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Wright, J.R. 1996. Interest groups and congress: Lobbying, Contributions, and influence. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar