Lobbying can be done through personal contacts, including appointments, banquets, parties, lunches, and casual meetings in the hallways of Congress.
Professional help is often needed to navigate the world of government regulations and benefits.
Most modern lobbying involves the use of professional lobbyists, either in-house employees dedicated to the interests of a particular group, or contract lobbyists who work for lobbying firms that address a variety of groups' needs.
Some of the most effective lobbyists are former government officials because of their access to power and knowledge about how government works.
Referred to as passing through the concept we meet again in Chapter 15 is the practice of rotating into lobbying jobs from elected or other government positions.
It refers to public officials who leave their posts to become interest group representatives or media figures and make a lot of money in the private sector.
Legislative aides can make their fortune lobbying, with starting salaries of more than $300,000 a year, according to a study.
Former Senate staffers can't lobby the Senate for a year after they leave their positions, while House staffers can't lobby the committees where they worked.
President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting presidential appointees from working as lobbyists for two years after leaving office because he felt the revolving door was a betrayal of the public trust.
Some of the people who left his administration in his first year and a half in office went on to lobbying jobs by working part time so that they didn't have to register as lobbyists.
The reason revolving-door activity is subject to occasional attempts at regulation and frequent ethical debate is because it raises questions about whether people should be able to convert public service into private profit, and whether such an incentive draws people into public office for other motives than serving the public interest.
Lobbyists can bring information to their effort to influence Congress by providing testimony and expertise, and sometimes they even draft legislation on the many issue areas in which policymakers cannot take the time to become experts.
Lobbyists use valid information to build long-term credibility with members of Congress.
In 2003 Republicans in Congress worked closely with energy companies to develop legislation that would increase oil exploration, coal mining, and nuclear plant development.
The energy bill is the mother lode according to an industry lobbyist.
78 Democrats were locked out of the conference committee that was considering the bill because they were frustrated by the influence of the energy lobbyists.
Interest groups gain access and a friendly ear by giving money to candidates.
The Federal Election Campaign Act was passed in 1974 to regulate the amount of money an interest group could give to candidates for federal office.
Campaign finance legislation limits how much money a political action committee can donate to candidates, but loopholes allow them to support the candidates of their choice.
As groups adjust to the new rules, expenditures by what are now called Super PACs have soared.
These groups use the money not only to support or oppose specific candidates but also to define the issues and tenor of the campaigns--which, given the volume of money at their disposal,
Interest groups try to bolster their lobbying efforts by forming coalitions.
Building coalitions in favor of or against specific issues is an important strategy in lobbying Congress.
There have been attempts to regulate the lobbyist and lawmaker relationship.
Lawmakers benefit from the relationship with lobbyists and are not enthusiastic about curtailing their opportunities to get money and support.
Congress passed the Lobbying Disclosure Act in 1995 to regulate lobbying.
Lobbyists were required to report how much they are paid by whom and what issues they are promoting under the act.
It's against the rules for senators, members of the House, and their aides to receive gifts, meals, or travel.
Lobbyists are forbidden from giving gifts that have a monetary value of under $50, and gifts from other sources are not allowed.
Lobbyist disclosures need to be filed more frequently.
Lobbyists are required to report when they collect more than $15,000 in campaign contributions in a six-month period.
Special projects of individual legislators are often hidden in legislation.
Lobbying firms can hire members of a particular party.
Lobbyist activity can be affected by ethics reforms.
President Obama's restrictions on lobbyists' access to the White House resulted in a drop in lobbying.
Lobbyists try to influence policy by targeting the president and White House staff.
Personal contacts within the White House are very important, and the higher up in the White House, the better.
The White House has been affected by the revolving-door phenomenon.
The revolving door is so pervasive that Obama had to relax his rules to fill some executive branch positions.
The Office of Public Engagement is the official contact point between the White House and interest groups.
It's purpose is to foster good relations between the White House and interest groups in order to mobilize these groups to support the administration's policies.
It's not surprising that each White House administration cultivates groups with which it feels most comfortable, given the highly partisan nature of most presidencies.
Lobbying is different in the case of the Trump White House because of the president's private business interests.
It is easy for groups to gain access to the president by staying at one of his many properties, such as Mar-a-Lago, where he spends most of his time.
In the first year of the president's term, sixty-four industry groups, corporations, foreign governments, and political groups spent money at Trump properties.
There are opportunities for lobbying the rest of the executive branch.
Winning the legislative battle is only the first step.
In the bureaucracy, Congress has delegated rule-making authority to federal agencies that implement the law.