One of the most common questions we get from people who are new to the lobbying industry is why is lobbying legal? Is lobbying considered bribery? No! Lobbying is a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution and has been reaffirmed by the government that it is in fact legal. There are major differences between lobbying and bribery; however, sometimes people mix them up.
Why is Lobbying Different From Bribery?
All too often, lobbying is misinterpreted as bribery. The key factor that differentiates lobbying from bribery is the effort to buy power or paying to guarantee a certain result. However, lobbying is designed to educate and guide government officials on particular topics. The intention and definition of bribery suggest that it would result in a favorable outcome. In turn, lobbying helps influence power, while bribery buys power for the subjects’ benefit. Harvard conducted a study looking at the donations lobbyists give to help influence power compared to a straight bribe and they said: “[Lobbying is] served to build trusted relationships over time and to offset any inconvenience caused by taking the lawmaker’s time.”
How Does Lobbying Avoid Bribery?
Lobbyists are a group of like-minded individuals, coming together to shape legislation. In fact, the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires people to register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House to file all information regarding their expenditures and activities. Therefore, lobbying is set up to be transparent to the government and is recorded to prevent any corruption.
Why is Lobbying Important?
As we have talked about in our previous blog post, lobbying is a crucial part of our governmental system. Without it, the government would not be able to accomplish favorable legislation and vote to help businesses improve.
We have been lobbying for over 20 years here at Dorn Policy Group and we have our client’s best interest at heart to change government legislation in the right direction. Our extensive experience and variety of industries we serve have made a top-tier lobbying firms in the Phoenix metro area.
Contact us today to learn how we can help your business get things done within the Federal, State, or Local government.