Lobbyists Looking To Call Themselves Something Else: Here Are A Few Suggestions

from the suggest-your-own dept

Like many people, I have a somewhat negative visceral reaction to the concept of lobbyists and lobbying. However, my thinking has been shifting, in large part due to last year's This American Life episode all about lobbying, where you begin to realize that lobbying is a symptom of a messed up campaign finance system, rather than "legalized bribery" as some believe. All too often, it appears, politicians are chasing down lobbyists, trying to get donations, rather than lobbyists "offering up" something. Besides, in theory, having people who can help educate clueless politicians about important issues could be a good thing -- if those politicians are actually hearing from all sides on an issue and then making a decision based on the facts (I know, I know, stop laughing...). Of course, that's not the system we have. At all.

And, because of that, many people blame the lobbyists, and, indeed, under today's system, many lobbyists engage in highly questionable practices, because the potential returns are so high.

Given all of this, it appears that lobbyists are trying to "rebrand" themselves. Apparently the preferred name is "Government Relations." Yes, it's the perfect kind of whitewash of "lobbyist." However, the NY Times has suggested "Congress Plus" as a more appropriate name:
We suggest “Congress Plus” as a more truthful name for an industry that employs more than 400 former members of the Senate and House, plus former Congressional staff members estimated in one study to total 5,400 people over a recent 10-year period. Not to mention untold dozens of lobbyists who smartly shift back and forth to Congressional committee posts as the electoral pendulum makes partisan swings that prove increasingly lucrative for experienced insiders.
So, what are some other suggestions for how lobbyists should rebrand? Here are a few suggestions, and we welcome more in the comments:
  • "Corporate Congress"
  • "Corporate Congressional Liaison"
  • "Special Interest Wrangler"
  • "Government Guide"
  • "Legislative Influencer"
  • "Regulatory Realignment Specialist"
  • "Senate Sherpa"
  • "Government Guru"
  • "Congressional Connector"
  • "Lawfluencers"
We await much better ideas in the comments.

Filed Under: lobbyists, rebranding


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  1. icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), 19 Oct 2013 @ 4:49am

    Why is it that when people think of lobbying, they only think of corporate lobbying? Lobbying is not an inherent evil because it allows for all people/special interest groups to have a say in policy making. If lobbying were banned, what would happen to all the charities who interact with government every day? The activists who bring petitions to their representatives everyday?

    Here in the UK we have a really bad piece of legislation on the go that has been suitably dubbed the 'Gagging Bill' that seeks to seriously limit the power of ordinary people to influence government.

    Of course, corporate lobbying has got out of hand with companies spending eye watering amounts on lobbying efforts. This should be drastically curbed but NOT at the expense of the public and special interest groups.

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