I'm courious. How would we define a "lobbyist" as opposed to a citizen/group of citizens who are simply trying to communicate a need to their elected
I suppose an easy answer would be that lobbyists are paid to try to persuade a member of congress while a citizen/group of citizens are not paid to do
...However, does that mean that a citizen or citizen group cannot hire a lawyer to speak on their behalf? Lawyers are more eloquent and better at
communicating than most average citizens, so I can totally see an honest citizen group hiring a lawyer to speak on their behalf. Would that
illegal under this proposed law?
What about a larger group? One that is organized to the point that it has some paid staff -- say, for example, the SPCA (the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Let's say the leader of the SPCA, who gets paid for what he does, tries to persuade his congressional
representative to pass a law that helps prevent some animal cruelty. Would that be illegal, seeing that the person doing the persuading is a paid
Perhaps the people at the SPCA feel they aren't good at communicating their message. Would the SPCA be allowed to hire an outside PR firm to
communicate for them, and communicate that message to congress?
What about other advocacy groups who have paid members or who hire consultants to better present their advocacy message, such as:
American Civil Rights Coalition
Diabetics International Foundation
Friends of the Earth
National Coalition for the Homeless
Would the paid staff/consultants of these advocacy groups be allowed to speak to members of congress about certain laws that could be passed to help
out their causes? It sounds as if you are saying that only individual citizens should be able to speak to their congressman -- however, I would
imagine that a 75 year old diabetic would rather have an advocacy group speaking on their behalf.
edit on 9/12/2011 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)