October 27, 2015
Lobbying and Transparency
Lobbying is a very wide ranging activity, targeting government at a national and local level as well as higher up organizations that can influence decisions. It is the consistent and direct attempt to influence government policy. Lobbying is a legitimate process used by organizations and non-profits in the United States in order to advance their interests. There is controversy in whether lobbyists’ activities are truly transparent, and whether lobbyists allow special interests to exert an excessive influence over government that may not be in the broader interests of all the citizens, but in their own interest. As a result of this controversy the US should pass a law requiring lobbying organizations to have names that truthfully reveal their intent.
The practice of lobbying should revolve around transparency, and clear intent of the organization. There have been many cases in that the name of the lobbying organization has not been authentic to its cause. This can be misleading and deceptive to those who are relying on the lobbyist to act in the best interest of the overall group. When lobbyists and lawmakers undermine the fairness or transparency of the lobbying process, skepticism arises regarding informed decision making. Lobbying can be a very beneficial process, only if organizations and groups are able to believe that it will be used fairly and in their best interest.
Astroturf lobbying needs to be more transparent, because it lacks people and surpluses in funds. In this case, lobbyists are essentially paying a policy maker to vote in his or her best interest. If there were more transparency in this area of lobbying, lobbyists would be restricted from paying for congressional travel and expensive meals. If this is not the case, it should be that possible sources of influence are visible to the public. The people should have the right to know exactly what money is...