Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Private Interests


Ken Godwin, Scott H. Ainsworth & Erik Godwin

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  • Dedication

    To Kenneth G. Ainsworth, Jennifer Godwin, Sen. Marshall Rauch, D-NC, and Neal Tate


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    Tables, Figures, and Boxes

    • Table 3.1 The Policy Stages Model Applied to the North American Free Trade Agreement 50
    • Table 5.1 Interest Organizations Reporting Participation in Regulatory Rulemaking 96
    • Table 5.2 Lobbying Agencies at Various Stages of the Rulemaking Process 97
    • Table 5.3 Lobbyists’ Rating of the Effectiveness of Lobbying Strategies 97
    • Table 5.4 Lobbyists’ Perception of Their Success Rates in Affecting Rulemaking 99
    • Table 5.5 Lobbying Strategies and Perceived Effectiveness 99
    • Table 5.6 Number of Issues and Percentage of Wins 102
    • Table 5.7 Issue Objectives and Issue Wins 102
    • Table 6.1 The Determinants of Coalition Participation in All Types of Organizations 129
    • Table 6.2 Overall Rates of Fortune 1000 Firms Lobbying Congress and Regulatory Agencies 130
    • Table 6.3 The Relationship Between a Firm's Role in a Coalition and Its Lobbying Objective 131
    • Table 6.4 Average Ranking of Goals When Joining Cooperative Lobbying Efforts 132
    • Table 6.5 Determinants of Cooperative Lobbying by Firms 133
    • Table 7.1 The Relationship Between Lobbying Resources and Policy Outcomes 151
    • Table 9.1 Estimated Expected Value of Most Important Government Actions 189
    • Table 9.2 The Allocation of Lobbying Resources to Benefits 189
    • Table 9.3 A Multivariate Logistic Regression Analysis of the Decision to Lobby 191
    • Box 1.1 “Oh S——t” Moments: The Importance of Monitoring 4
    • Box 1.2 Biographic Sketches for Internal and External Lobbyists for Amgen 7
    • Box 2.1 Policy Issues 15
    • Box 2.2 Corporate Versus Individual Lobbying 31
    • Box 2.3 Legislators Can Peek Into Their Blind Trusts 38
    • Box 3.1 Fast Track Procedure 55
    • Box 3.2 Lawsuits to Force the White House to Release the Records of the Cheney Task Force 57
    • Box 3.3 The Data Quality Act 64
    • Box 5.1 SEC Is Avoiding Tough Sanctions for Large Banks 108
    • Box 8.1 A Prisoners’ Dilemma 161


    Ten years ago, two of the authors of this book were discussing lobbying. One of the participants was a lobbyist and the other participant taught a course on interest groups. The lobbyist observed that if he were to attend the professor's class he would be unlikely to recognize that it dealt with what lobbyists actually do. The dissimilarity between teaching and practice raised the following question: “Was political science missing some key aspects of the interactions between lobbyists and policymakers?” If so, what were the implications of these omissions? For the past decade, the authors of this book examined these questions.

    Our research discovered that few scholars studied two of lobbyists’ most important activities. First, previous research often ignored the lobbying of regulatory of agencies. This oversight occurred despite evidence indicating that lobbying the rulemaking process constituted almost half of all lobbying.1 Second, scholars had concentrated on issues involving such highly collective goods as universal health care and the appropriate tax rates for individuals and corporations. Our interviews with more than 100 lobbyists discovered, however, that lobbyists for producer organizations generally concentrated their efforts on obtaining goods that benefitted only their employer or their employer and a small number of other organizations. Lobbying and Policymaking demonstrates that paying greater attention to rulemaking institutions and to the public provision of private goods significantly changes the standard picture of lobbying and the policymaking process. More important, attention to these aspects of policymaking changes our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy.

    This book differs from most other textbooks concerning lobbying and policymaking in several ways. First, we examine what interest organizations actually seek from policymakers. This emphasis corrects the picture of lobbying as primarily a struggle among competing interests over highly collective goods. Second, this book gives more emphasis to the regulatory process. This greater emphasis accurately reflects the importance of regulatory agencies in policymaking. Third, the book takes advantage of the practical lobbying experience of one of the authors. We believe this makes the book more enjoyable to students and increases the verisimilitude between theory and practice. Fourth, unlike most other books on lobbying or policymaking, we present a formal model reflecting key aspects of the policymaking process. Critics of formal models of lobbying have argued that such models treat policymaking as an event that occurs at a single point in time while policymaking actually is a process that continues through time and requires multiple lobbying strategies.2 One goal of our research project was to address this problem. The formal modeling in this book is kept within a single chapter, and we have summarized in prose all aspects of those models. The model, however, is essential to the theory of policymaking we present. Interested readers can see the more formal presentations of the model in our journal articles.

    We have attempted to write a book that is accessible to undergraduate students and is useful to scholars. The pedagogical approaches we employ reflect our belief that metaphors, case studies, models, and quantitative data are important to understanding the policy process. We use metaphors to assist readers in gaining intuitive insights into lobbying and policymaking. We use eight case studies to analyze, test, and illustrate concepts and hypotheses. We use two large datasets to compare competing explanations of lobbying influence and to test the formal model we develop.

    The reader will discover that this book often is in a dialog with Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why by Frank Baumgartner, Jeffrey Berry, Marie Hojnacki, David Kimball, and Beth Leech. That work is a decade-long study that examines what interest groups want and how successful they are in achieving their goals.3 We believe that Lobbying and Policy Change constitutes the most comprehensive account of lobbying available to scholars of interest groups and public policy. We show, however, that their research design led them to ignore important lobbying activities and goals. We demonstrate how this problem affected their conclusions about interest-group influence on policy outcomes. We believe that our book provides a more balanced view of the influence process and outcomes. We hasten to add that it is not necessary to read Lobbying and Policy Change to appreciate the arguments we make in this book.

    Lobbying and Policymaking is a product of ten years of research and writing. To have the time to devote to such a project required the support of external funding as well as our universities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided the external funding. UNC Charlotte received NSF grant SES-0752212, and the University of Georgia received the grant SES-0752245. Our thanks go to Brian Humes and NSF reviewers for their support of the project. Ken Godwin also received financial assistance from the Department of Political Science at the University of North Texas and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC). Scott Ainsworth and Erik Godwin received support from their departments at the University of Georgia and Texas A&M University.

    We are grateful to our interviewees who provided us with numerous insights into the policy process and made us better political scientists. Their contributions made the book possible. We are grateful to Karen Godwin, who achieved an amazing 80-percent success rate in obtaining interviews with lobbyists and congressional staffers. On several occasions, interviewees commented that her determination and tact were the reasons that they ultimately granted an interview.

    Our colleagues Austin Clemens, John Green, Ed Lopez, and Barry Seldon are not listed as coauthors, but they coauthored research that was essential to this book. We also are appreciative of the assistance of the late Robert Salisbury, who helped us conceptualize and measure lobbying for private goods. We are grateful to the authors of Lobbying and Policy Change for generously making available much of the data from their project. Frank Baumgartner provided useful suggestions throughout the research process. Eric Heberlig of UNC Charlotte provided numerous useful comments and suggestions. Erik Godwin thanks Virginia Gray and David Lowery, his mentors at UNC-Chapel Hill. Although they and he are unlikely to agree on the degree of rationality in the lobbying and policymaking, their instruction greatly informed his contributions to this book.

    Several students were intimately involved in the research and writing process. At UNC Charlotte, Lawson Seropian played an important editorial role. His most difficult task was to ensure that the authors wrote in a manner accessible to undergraduate students. Lawson also was a valuable research assistant in tracking bills and participants in the policies included in our analyses. Other students working on the project included Kathryn Clifford, Perry Joiner, Ruoxi Li, and Hongu Zhang at the University of Georgia and Amanda Rutherford and Jamie Smart at Texas A&M.

    We appreciate the comments of Don C. Baumer, Smith College; Julio Borquez, University of Michigan-Dearborn; Andrienne Fulco, Trinity College; Paul Lewis, Arizona State University; Jason MacDonald, Kent State University; Jennifer Miller, UNC-Chapel Hill; Laura Olson, Clemson University; Donald Stenta, The Ohio State University; and Stephen Weatherford, University of California, Santa Barbara, the reviewers of our proposal or an earlier draft of the manuscript. Our editor Charisse Kiino was helpful throughout the writing process and remained supportive even when we missed deadlines. We are grateful to Megan Markanich, Laureen Gleason, and Nancy Loh, the editorial and production team at CQ Press. As much as we would like to blame any errors on the people who were previously mentioned, those errors remain our own.


    1. Scott R. Furlong and Cornelius M. Kerwin, “Interest Group Participation in Rule Making: A Decade of Change,” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 15, no. 3 (2004): 353–370.

    2. David Lowery and Virginia Gray, “A Neopluralist Perspective on Research on Organized Interests,” Political Research Quarterly 57, no.1 (2004): 164–175.

    3. Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry, Marie Hojnacki, David C. Kimball, and Beth L. Leech. Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).

    About the Authors

    Ken Godwin is the Marshall Rauch Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. He previously taught at the University of North Texas, the University of Arizona, and Oregon State University. He also served as the Rockefeller Environmental Fellow at Resources for the Future. Godwin is the author or coauthor of seven books concerning public policy issues and interest groups. His articles have appeared in numerous journals including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the Southern Economic Journal, Public Choice, and AI. From 2000 to 2006, he served as the coeditor of Political Research Quarterly.

    Scott H. Ainsworth is professor of political science in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. His work on lobbying, interest groups, and the U.S. Congress has appeared in numerous outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. He is the author of Analyzing Interest Groups and coauthor of Abortion Politics in Congress: Strategic Incrementalism and Policy Change.

    Erik Godwin is assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M University. His research interests focus on policy design and its implementation by the federal bureaucracy. Godwin received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Godwin previously conducted financial and economic analyses for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice. He joined the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Clinton White House. After leaving the White House, he spent six years as an executive-branch lobbyist on environmental, energy, and health issues.

  • Appendix: So You Want to Become a Lobbyist?

    Students frequently ask the question, “What kind of training do I need to become a lobbyist?” This is an important question because the answer reveals a great deal about the relationship between lobbying and the policy process. There are several good articles available to students concerning congressional and local government lobbyists’ career patterns and work habits.1 Here, however, we examine how lobbying firms that target the White House and bureaucratic agencies recruit and train their personnel. The information included in this appendix comes from interviews with the heads of four lobbying firms plus the personal experience of coauthor Erik Godwin.2 We do not claim that the information presented here is representative of all types of executive branch lobbying. In particular, it is not as representative of procurement lobbying.3 The information does, however, shed light on the types of career paths that executive branch lobbyists follow and the techniques that they rely upon when influencing federal policy.

    A General Blueprint of Lobbying

    Whether lobbying the legislature, the president, or the bureaucracy, lobbyists must understand and account for three streams of information about the policy they seek to influence: they must know the substance of the issue, the process that governs the policy, and the people who will make key decisions along the way. Every successful lobbying effort requires correctly moving the substance, process, and people at the right time. Substantive knowledge refers to an understanding of the technical aspects of a policy and the political environment surrounding the issue. Lobbyists who lack substantive expertise are unable to provide quality information, generate accurate analyses, or request realistic policy adjustments for their clients. Lobbyists must also know the process by which the policy decision will be made. This includes when the process is vulnerable to outside influence, where in the process the critical decisions will be made (and by whom), what types of information will be most persuasive at those times, and how to structure the policy outcome so that its impact will be long lasting. Finally, a lobbyist must know the people who will decide the policy. Better yet, she should know these policymakers personally. The decision makers must trust that the lobbyist will protect their interests, is telling the truth, and can deliver what she promises. For example, if a lobbyist is attempting to convince a policymaker at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that changing a proposed regulatory rule will not jeopardize safety, the policymakers must have confidence in the lobbyist's expertise and information. Most importantly, the policymakers must have confidence in the integrity and truthfulness of the lobbyist herself.

    Failing to account for any of the three streams of information leaves a lobbying strategy vulnerable to unexpected obstacles at inopportune times. Every lobbyist interviewed by the authors explicitly stated the importance of addressing each of the three categories, although different lobbyists and/or firms weight the three aspects differently. In other words, some lobbyists and firms specialize in substantive expertise, others concentrate on influencing a specific subset of policy processes, and still others rely upon key contacts within government to move policy. Regardless of specialization, however, a firm must possess or purchase a sufficient degree of control over all three categories to have sustained policy influence. We now examine how the search for the three skill sets drives the hiring and training of executive branch lobbyists.

    Substantive Expertise

    There was a consensus among the heads of lobbying firms that individuals who lobby the executive branch should have sufficient expertise in a substantive area to present a client's case to knowledgeable decision makers. Executive branch lobbyists tend to have advanced degrees in law, business, economics, public policy, or in a substantive area such as agriculture, water resources, or engineering. After completing his or her formal education, a future lobbyist gains further substantive expertise by working in government, in a consulting firm, or for industry. The preparation of Erik Godwin, the coauthor who worked for the executive lobbying firm the EOP Group, is typical of executive branch lobbyists. He did graduate work in environmental science at Oxford University in England, earned a master's degree in public policy at the University of Michigan, worked for the environmental consulting firm Industrial Economics Inc., and then worked on environment and energy issues in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Only after all of that training and job experience did he join the EOP Group, where he lobbied on environmental issues.

    The heads of contract lobbying firms saw substantive knowledge as the easiest type of expertise for the firm to acquire. Firms can have their existing lobbyists learn the substance of an issue, they can partner with other interest groups, or they can simply hire someone who already has the necessary expertise. A recent example of how corporations and trade associations hire substantive expertise is the eruption of hiring that followed the passage of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.4 Hailed as the most important financial regulation since the Great Depression, the law is 851 pages long and contains 1,601 provisions, almost all of which will result in new rules and regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and other federal agencies. The act immediately became the “Financial Lobbyist Full Employment Act” as banks and other financial institutions rushed to hire the legal and financial expertise necessary to lobby the regulatory agencies working on the new rules.5

    Lobbying firms can also obtain substantive expertise by taking advantage of the work conducted by the numerous think tanks that specialize in particular fields. For example, Resources for the Future (RFF) is a think tank located in Washington, D.C., that focuses on environmental economics. RFF produces excellent issue-specific analyses that are designed to resonate with federal decision makers. Some think tanks are clearly partisan and ideological. For instance, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is a conservative think tank that favors the Republican Party, the Brookings Institution is more liberal and favors the Democratic Party, and the Cato Institute supports the libertarian ideology. The partisan affiliations of think tanks often serve as useful cues that help decision makers evaluate the political implications of the work products. For example, our estate tax case study showed how Patricia Soldano used an economic report prepared by AEI to convince Republican lawmakers that the estate tax reduced jobs and economic growth. Because of AEI's conservative stance, the Republican audience had greater confidence that the information was consistent with the preferences of the conservative agenda.

    Substantive expertise is often the fastest route into lobbying for newly minted college graduates. Lobbying firms often hire within such defined areas of policy knowledge as renewable energy, biotechnology, labor economics, or aerospace engineering. Students spend their collegiate careers acquiring significant technical skills that make them attractive to firms that need to increase technical knowledge. Note, however, that new substantive specialists generally have a very limited initial role in the lobbying process. They are technical resources and are good for answering technical questions. Joining a lobbying firm or interest organization as a substantive specialist is one of the fastest and easiest ways into lobbying, but you must still develop expertise in process and people.

    In summary, there are lobbying firms that specialize in every major substantive area in which the federal government is active. These firms supply expertise to corporations, trade associations, citizen action groups, and to other lobbying firms. If you are thinking of becoming such a lobbyist, look at Figure A.1. It provides a short synopsis of the education and career paths of Dan Barolo, James Aidala, and Linda Fisher, three lobbyists who specialized in pesticides.

    FIGURE A.1 The Career Paths of Three Pesticide Lobbyists
    Process Expertise: Institutions Matter

    There is a consensus among the heads of the contract lobbying firms that a lobbyist who thoroughly understands the political structures and the policy processes surrounding a given issue is a vital part of a successful firm. We have seen throughout this book that policy change is dynamic, with key decisions occurring at different times in the policy process. Successful lobbyists know when these decisions will occur, which procedural stages are vulnerable to influence, and what types of lobbying are most persuasive at each stage. One head of a lobbying firm stated that more than 50 percent of his firm's business involved using bureaucratic processes to speed up, slow down, or stop a given policy change. Political scientists have long recognized the importance of process mastery to lobbyists. Stanford political scientist Terry Moe, perhaps the preeminent bureaucracy scholar over the past 25 years, wrote the following:

    The most fundamental task for political actors is to find and institute a governance structure that can protect their political organizations from control by opponents.6

    Structural choices have all sorts of important consequences for the content and direction of policy, and, because this is so, choices about structure are implicitly choices about policy. They are part and parcel of the same thing.7

    [Voters do not care about structure.] Organized interests, on the other hand do care. They are active and informed in their own policy domains, and they understand the advantages they seek from government depend crucially on precisely those fine details of structure that cause voters’ eyes to glaze over. Structure is valuable to them, and they have every incentive to mobilize their political resources to get what they want. They are very likely, as a result, to be the only source of political demands and pressures when structural issues are at stake. Structural politics is interest group politics.8

    Who is most likely to understand the political structures and policy processes? The answer is those individuals who have worked in the government. A major reason that there is a constant movement of government officials to lobbying organizations is that ex-bureaucrats understand where in the policy process structural decisions are made, where in the decision process to devote lobbying resources, and how a policy should be written to ensure that its implementation is effective (or ineffective). For instance, environmental organizations want the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be in charge of pesticide registration and review. Interest organizations that oppose a regulation, conversely, will want its implementation assigned to an agency whose mission opposes the regulation's goals. For example, imagine how different safety in the workplace might be if the U.S. Department of Commerce and Industry rather than the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were in charge of regulating worker safety.

    Our case studies demonstrate the value of using process knowledge to either facilitate or undermine policy changes. In the case of the Data Quality Act (DQA), lobbyist Jim Tozzi wanted the DQA to serve industry's preference for stringent evaluation of information. He made sure that OIRA would oversee the implementation of the new law. OIRA's statutory mandate calls for the office to maximize the societal benefits of new regulations. The result of the agency's mandate was a bureaucracy in which economic efficiency was the dominant value. Efficient outcomes are extremely difficult to generate when policy decisions are made using poor quality data, and OIRA had a long history of turning back agencies’ attempts to collect and/or generate substandard information. By placing the implementation of the DQA within OIRA, Tozzi ensured that an agency committed to information quality and economic efficiency would oversee agencies’ compliance with the new law.

    Skilled lobbyists can also use their knowledge of the policy process to prevent new policies from being successfully implemented. When the pharmaceutical company lobbyist wrote the Cochran Amendment to the Prescription Drug Reimportation Act, she knew that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was unlikely to certify that all imported drugs were safe. The FDA's mission to protect consumer safety made it functionally impossible for the agency to certify the safety of all reimported drugs. The lobbyist also knew that legislators would be wary of voting against an amendment that ostensibly was designed to increase consumer safety.

    The need for process expertise creates endless opportunities for individuals to enter into the lobbying profession. Because government structures and policy processes are so complex, numerous lobbying agencies specialize in particular parts. So, for example, some firms can specialize in the regulatory process of a specific agency such as the EPA, the SEC, or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As a lobbying firm increases the number of issue areas on which it is active, the firm must hire individuals who understand the institutional structure and policy process of each substantive issue area. To be hired as a process specialist, however, a prospective lobbyist will ideally have worked within the policy processes that she seeks to influence. In the case of the DQA, for example, Jim Tozzi had directed OIRA earlier in his career. He therefore not only had exhaustive knowledge of the processes but he also understood how the economic preferences of OIRA as an institution shaped its discretionary application of those processes.

    That level of process expertise is extremely expensive for firms to develop in-house, and all of the firms interviewed stated a preference for hiring lobbyists who were already procedural experts. Hiring out of the agencies has another key advantage in terms of process knowledge—accuracy. Government processes inevitably evolve over time as they respond to changes in the policy environment. By hiring recent government practitioners, lobbying firms can stay current on the procedural stages and exploit new procedural opportunities. In fact, bureaucrats often have substantial discretion to change federal decision-making processes. This makes them the world's experts on the new processes that they designed.

    Finally, one lobbying firm founder stated that the principal reason he liked to hire process specialists out of the bureaucratic ranks is that they typically make far fewer mistakes than those who had not spent time in government. When asked why, he said, “Lobbyists can't afford to ask for the impossible. Some things simply cannot be done at certain times in an agency's process. Ex-bureaucrats are sensitive to this, and ask the right person, for the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.” Notably, a comprehensive knowledge of the process depends upon identifying who is making the key decisions and what the policy preferences of those individuals look like. We turn now to how people expertise factors into the hiring decisions of lobbying organizations.

    People Expertise

    During an interview with the head of a lobbying firm, one of the authors of this book was permitted to observe a job interview between the firm partner and a candidate seeking to join the firm as a lobbyist. At one point, the partner slid a legal pad across the desk to the applicant and said, “Write down the name and position of everyone at the EPA who will take your call without pushing it to voice mail.” When the author asked about the question later, the partner replied, “I need to know who this guy can reach out and touch. Substance and process are vital, but people are where we make our money.” All of our interviews confirmed that the worth of lobbyists is strongly related to their access to decision makers. In this age where every bureaucrat has caller ID, the ability of agency personnel to systematically ignore an interest organization makes access increasingly difficult.

    Interest-group scholars and journalists tend to discuss this type of expertise when writing about the legislative branch. It is quite common, for example, for lobbying firms to hire ex-congresspersons and senators, a legislator's key staff member, or a staff member from an important legislative committee. For example, the lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig gives the following biography for Nancy Taylor, one of their partners:

    Nancy Taylor has over 20 years of legislative and regulatory experience in advising clients on health care related matters, having served 10 years in her capacity as Health Policy Director for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources [this committee considers health issues in the Senate]. She has also served as CEO of a start up medical device company where she was successful in obtaining eight product clearances and reimbursement coverage for the products.9

    Taylor, an attorney, was listed in 2007 by the Washingtonian as the thirty-third most influential lobbyist in Washington with revenues of well over $1 million per year. The Washingtonian reports that Taylor's close relationship with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, a member of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, accounts for much of her success in lobbying on health care.10 Out of the fifty top lobbyists listed by the Washingtonian, thirteen are previous members of Congress, twenty-one are ex-congressional or ex-agency staffers, and three are family members of serving members of Congress.11 The lobbyists listed at the very top of the list were Hale Boggs and Bob Dole. Boggs's mother and father were members of Congress, and his sister is an important journalist in the Washington community. His lifelong connections with key personnel throughout the Democratic Party provide him with unmatched access to Democrats in Congress. Similarly, Bob Dole was the Senate majority leader and a Republican nominee for president. Until 2008, his wife was a senator from North Carolina.

    In an important paper, Jordi Vidal, Mirko Draca, and Christian Fons-Rosen examined the income of lobbyists who joined a contract lobbying firm after serving as congressional staffers. The authors found that lobbyists connected to U.S. senators have an annual income that averages more than $300,000. These lobbyists suffer an initial loss of $160,000 in their annual revenue when their previous employer leaves the Senate. Although these lobbyists regain about half of this annual income after a five-year period, they are unable to reach their previous income level. Many ex-staffers leave lobbying shortly after their senator leaves.12 Vidal et al. interpreted this finding as evidence that a key determinant of the revenue that a congressional lobbyist can generate is her close relationship with a congressperson. In other words, lobbyists “cash in on their connections.”13 Although no one has collected similar data on lobbyists who specialize in lobbying the executive departments and regulatory agencies, a quick examination of Figure A.1 and the websites of powerful executive-branch lobbying firms shows that government connections are a key attribute of the lobbyists. You will find a similar pattern if you go to the web pages of major trade associations and examine the personal pages of their government relations staff.

    Why are these relationships so important? The answer is partly structural and partly reputational. Structurally, the most obvious answer is that a person who has worked closely with other members within a policy system is more likely than an unknown outsider to have her phone call accepted, to meet the policymakers for lunch, and to receive time to discuss an issue. This effect is particularly powerful if the lobbyist used to work within the agency and hired, trained, or promoted the people she now seeks to influence. Several of our case studies also showed the importance of forming coalitions with other lobbying organizations. This is much easier to do if you know the lobbyists in those organizations and you have developed a high level of interpersonal trust. These individuals often have political information that will be extremely useful to your lobbying efforts. They also can assist you in developing lobbying strategies and monitoring what an agency is doing.

    The importance of personal contacts, however, goes far beyond a lobbyist simply knowing the players on an issue. A lobbyist who is personally familiar with the individuals involved also has knowledge of their policy preferences. The decision processes used by each individual tend to follow predictable patterns—patterns that lobbyists must account for when crafting a strategy. For example, if a lobbyist knows that a key decision maker believes strongly in market incentives then the lobbyist will approach the bureaucrat with economic arguments. Conversely, a lobbyist would take a different approach with a bureaucrat who is more concerned with equity issues.

    Finally, no conversation of lobbying would be complete without recognizing the importance of reputation when dealing with the people making decisions. Lobbyists are more successful when they know decision makers, but lobbyists are also much more successful when decision makers know and trust lobbyists. Building this trust often takes repeated interactions in multiple venues. Trust is difficult to gain but easy to lose. The reputation of a lobbyist is one of her most precious possessions because lobbyists rely upon access so heavily. Executive branch personnel rarely grant access to lobbyists who have proven themselves untrustworthy in the past. As the head of one lobbying firm stated, “If you have to choose between sinning against God or the bureaucracy, choose God. He forgives.”

    In summary, having good relationships with policymakers and with other lobbyists is critical in lobbying agencies. As we saw in our case studies, important issue areas such as corporate taxation, agriculture, energy, pesticides, transportation, and health care have issue networks made up of government officials, lobbyists, and others who have sufficient substantive knowledge to participate. The success of a lobbyist in representing her client's interest may depend on her personal relationships with other participants in an issue network, both government officials and other lobbyists.


    In every contract lobbying firm and in every effective lobbying organization, there must be all three types of expertise: (1) substance, (2) process, and (3) people. Obviously, these three sets of skills are related. Persons who have process expertise on an issue also will know a great deal about the substance of that issue, and they will know many of the policymakers. This helps to explain why ex-government officials are sought after by lobbying firms. Say, for instance, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) or Dow Chemical Company wants expertise concerning the renewal of a particular pesticide. It can hire specialists from such lobbying firms as Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly or Bergeson & Campbell. These firms hire ex-bureaucrats who dealt with pesticides while working at the EPA. For example, Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly hired Daniel Barolo, the ex-director for the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, and James V. Aidala, the ex-assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. Barolo had done graduate work in environmental engineering at Vanderbilt, and Aidala had done graduate work in chemistry at Harvard.14 These individuals understand the scientific information about pesticides, know what types of information are most important to the EPA officials who will make the policy decisions, and Barolo and Aidala probably recruited many of the policymakers in the EPA whom they later lobbied.

    Lobbyists who command the highest salaries and lobbying fees are those who can bring all three types of expertise to bear on issue quickly and cleanly. Dr. Jim Tozzi provided the clearest example of how having all three types of knowledge increases a lobbyist's value. First, the bureaucratic process that he was seeking to change was not specific to any one department or agency. To change it, therefore, required more than simply convincing a single agency to amend its process for evaluating the quality of data; all of the agencies would have to accept the new system. Since some agencies were quite happy with the existing process, Tozzi needed to use Congress to force widespread change. Tozzi's relationships with the right people were critical to DQA's success. Specifically, he successfully convinced two policymakers to help him: Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO, in the House and Sen. Richard Shelby, D-AL, in the Senate. Emerson attached two short paragraphs to an appropriations bill. Tozzi understood the substance of the issue perfectly, and he knew precisely how to word the two seemingly innocuous paragraphs. The two paragraphs caused a dramatic shift in the types of information that the executive departments and regulatory agencies could use in licensing and renewing products. This changed the tug-of-war between industry and citizen groups by tilting the playing field in favor of industry. Senator Shelby then ensured that the amendment remained part of the appropriations bill in the Senate. Tozzi had the information necessary to convince these two key legislators that the regulatory process was rigged against industry and that this imbalance created economic harm to the nation. Most important, because he had served as the director of OIRA, Tozzi understood how to restructure the process of federal information gathering in a way that favored producers. He made use of OIRA's existing infrastructure, personnel, and preferences to ensure that the implementation stage was successful.

    Similarly, Mexican president Carlos Salinas knew that the best approach for getting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the political agenda was not to approach President George H. W. Bush directly but to convince the American business community that a free trade agreement was in its interests. Salinas also knew that the most influential business lobby was the Business Roundtable, and he had close personal relationships with several members of that organization. Patricia Soldano was able to lobby successfully for a temporary end to the estate tax because she knew how to create a coalition, frame the issue in a way that would appeal to the public, and generate the information necessary to justify the legislation. Finally, the chief lobbyist for a major pharmaceutical company convinced Sen. Thad Cochran, R-MS, to add an amendment she wrote to the drug reimportation legislation. The amendment required the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) who represented the FDA, to certify that all pharmaceutical drugs imported to the United States would be completely safe. The lobbyist understood that this would be impossible for the FDA to guarantee, and the Cochran Amendment totally eviscerated the drug reimportation legislation. In each of these cases, the lobbyists had all three types of knowledge. They knew the policymakers who could make the decisions, understood what political and substantive information would convince them, and understood how to write the proposed policy so that it would have the desired effect. Often, however, the interest group wanting to make a policy change must hire several lobbyists to achieve all three types of expertise.

    As Figure A.1 indicates, becoming a super-lobbyist of the bureaucracy is difficult. It requires graduate training, often requiring multiple graduate degrees. It requires working in a firm or in a government agency to gain further substantive knowledge of a policy area. It also requires service in government at a sufficiently high level to develop personal relationships with policymakers and to gain the knowledge of government structure and process necessary to be effective. So, do you really want to become a lobbyist? It is a long road from graduating with a degree in political science to becoming an effective lobbyist.


    1. See, for example, Bertram J. Levine, The Art of Lobbying: Building Trust and Selling Policy (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2009); Ed Ingle, “Government Relations,” in Reputation Management, ed. John Doonley and Helio Fred Garcia (New York: Routledge, 2007), 159–182; Anthony J. Nownes, Total Lobbying: What Lobbyists Want (and How They Try to Get It) (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Jordi Blanes i Vidal, Mirko Draca, and Christian Fons-Rosen, “Revolving Door Lobbyists,” CEP Discussion Paper No. 993 (London: Centre for Economic Performance, August 2010).

    2. None of the four interest organizations is the EOP Group, the firm that employed Erik Godwin.

    3. For a discussion of the differences between procurement lobbying and policy lobbying, see Nownes, Total Lobbying, chapter 6.

    4. Public Law No. 111–203, 2010, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ203/pdf/PLAW-111publ203.pdf

    5. To keep track of these hires, go to the DealBook website of the New York Times, and see http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/lookup.php?type=i&q=Dodd-Frank to see the number of lobbying disclosure reports related to the Dodd–Frank Act.

    6. Terry M. Moe, “The Politics of Structural Choice: Toward a Theory of Public Bureaucracy,” in Organization Theory: From Chester Barnard to the Present and Beyond, ed. Oliver E. Williamson (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 119.

    7. Ibid., 127.

    8. Ibid., 129, emphasis added.

    9. Greenberg Traurig, http://www.gtlaw.com/People/NancyETaylor

    10. Kim Eisler, “Hired Guns: The City's 50 Top Lobbyists,” Washingtonian, June 1, 2007. http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/mediapolitics/4264.html

    11. Ibid.

    12. Blanes i Vidal et al., “Revolving Door Lobbyists,” 4–6. These losses are the median loss. The average loss is much larger as numerous lobbyists have incomes well over $1 million.

    13. Ibid., 5.

    14. Later Barolo and Aidala left Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly and moved to Bergeson & Campbell. http://www.spoke.com/info/p6KGomB/DanielBarolo

    Glossary of Terms

    • AARP (formerly called the American Association of Retired Persons): The AARP is a nonpartisan organization for members over the age of fifty. AARP is one of Washington's most powerful lobbying organizations.
    • Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN): The ACTPN coordinated the activities of thirty advisory committees focused on U.S. trade policy. The ACTPN was cochaired by CEOs Jim Robinson and Kay Whitmore during the NAFTA policy process.
    • Agenda setting: Agenda setting is one of the five stages of public policymaking. Agenda setting considers how an issue comes to the attention of public officials and how public officials decide whether or not to address the issue.
    • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): ANWR is the largest wildlife refuge in the United States. It is located in Alaska. The opening of ANWR to oil and gas exploration was a major component of the Energy Policy Act of 2003 that failed to pass Congress.
    • Backward induction: This is a type of reasoning in which strategic actors choose an action based on what they envision will follow that action. The process is used to determine the optimal course of action.
    • By-product: To reduce free riding, Mancur Olson argued that interest groups used selective incentives to entice contributions to collective efforts. As private goods, selective incentives are not vulnerable to free riding. Therefore, groups can use the profits from the sale of the selective incentives to finance the provision of the collective good. The collective good is provided as a by-product of the sale of private goods.
    • Cheap ride: Contrast a cheap ride with a free ride. When corporations or individuals in a coalition limit their participation to small acts, such as allowing the use of their name on the coalition's letterhead, this is a cheap ride. They limit their participation to these activities because they see the issue as relatively unimportant to them or because they believe that their participation is unlikely to affect the coalition's successes or failures.
    • Coalition: Coalitions are formal lobbying institutions that interest organizations join and to which they pledge resources. Coalitions often have paid staff and an office, and the coalition members have specified obligations such as allocating personnel to the coalition effort or paying a participation fee to the coalition. Coalitions typically seek highly collective goods. (See cooperative lobbying and sides [or lobbying sides] as well.)
    • Collective action problem: Also called the “free rider problem,” collective action problems occur when rational, self-interested people free ride and cheap ride rather than help provide the collective good.
    • Collective goods: These are goods with nonrivalrous consumption and non-excludability.
    • Comment letters: When individuals and organizations comment on proposed bureaucratic rules, their communications are typically referred to as comment letters. Also see comments.
    • Comment period: A mandated period of time during which the full text of a proposed regulation is open to public view and comment is a comment period. Proposed regulations must be published in the Federal Registrar for easy public access. A comment period formalizes bureaucratic oversight. It is designed to reduce the information asymmetries hampering Congress, the president, and interest groups as they seek to control or influence bureaucratic actions.
    • Comments: During the rulemaking process, affected individuals and organizations are allowed to offer comments in letters to the agency officials who will write the final rule. Also see comment letters.
    • Cooperative lobbying: Cooperative lobbying occurs when interest organizations coordinate their lobbying efforts on a policy issue but do not form a formal coalition. (See coalition and sides [or lobbying sides].)
    • Core member: Core members of lobbying coalitions are active in organizing and directing a coalition's lobbying efforts. Contrast core members with players, tagalongs, and free riders.
    • Covered officials: Covered officials are policymakers as recognized by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. Covered officials include members of Congress, congressional staff members, and executive branch officials.
    • Crowding effects: Crowding effects occur when a collective good has some rivalrous consumption. Roads are collective goods, but they are vulnerable to crowding effects.
    • Data Quality Act (DQA): The DQA directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to write general data quality guidelines for data used by the federal government.
    • Decision making: See policy legitimation.
    • Department of Defense (DoD): The DoD is a cabinet level department in the executive branch.
    • Economic rents: Economic rents are any payment for goods or services beyond the actual costs of those goods and services. (Also see political rents.)
    • Energy Policy Act of 2003 (108th Congress, H.R. 6): This was a comprehensive energy proposal supported by President George W. Bush to increase energy production in the United States. It contained several controversial features including the opening of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository and the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration and
    • extraction. The bill died in the Senate, but portions of the bill later were included in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, which became law.
    • Equilibrium: When a system reaches a steady state it is in equilibrium. In policy, an equilibrium position occurs when no entity can pull the policy away from its current position.
    • European Union (EU): The EU is a confederation of over twenty European nations. The EU maintains a single economic market and a shared currency.
    • Exchange model: This is a political process in which organized interests buy or bid on policies by providing resources to policymakers in exchange for favorable policy decisions.
    • Excludable: A good is excludable if the owner of the good can prevent others from benefitting from it. Private goods are excludable. Collective goods are nonexcludable.
    • External (or contract) lobbyists: External lobbyists (also called contract lobbyists) work for firms whose primary business is lobbying. External lobbyists work for hire for other firms but are not direct employees of the organizations for whom they are lobbying. (Also see internal lobbyists.)
    • Family Business Estate Tax Coalition (FBETC): The FBETC included the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau, the Newspaper Association of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and trade associations representing cattlemen, liquor and beer wholesalers and distributors, and a host of other small business and farm groups. The goal of this coalition was to end federal estate taxes.
    • Fast track: One of several means of unorthodox lawmaking, fast track procedures require the House and Senate to follow preset rules governing debate and amending procedures. Fast track procedures circumvent the House Committee on Rules and unanimous consent agreements in the Senate.
    • Feedback: Feedback is the final stage of the policymaking process. Continuous evaluation of a policy by those affected provides feedback to decision makers who might then choose to revise the policy.
    • Fire alarm: Fire alarm is a metaphor to describe after the fact means of bureaucratic oversight. When organized interests feel they are being treated unfairly by bureaucratic decisions, a “fire alarm” can be pulled, thereby alerting congressional policymakers to the problem. Rather than addressing problems in the bureaucracies proactively, members of Congress respond when fire alarms are pulled.
    • Foreign Sales Corporation and extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI): These are provisions in the U.S. tax code that gave tax benefits to U.S. corporations. These benefits violated provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
    • The laws creating the benefits were repealed as part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.
    • Free rider: This is a person who enjoys a collective good but does not help provide the collective good.
    • Free rider problem: Also called the “collective action problem,” a free rider problem occurs when rational, self-interested people free ride rather than help provide the collective good.
    • General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): GATT was a multilateral trade agreement that reduced tariffs and other barriers to international trade. GATT was replaced with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.
    • Grassroots campaign: Grassroots efforts are thought to be from the ground up rather than the top down. Genuine grassroots campaigns are citizen based and have little support from elite policymakers.
    • High politics: High politics are politics involving nonincremental policy changes and modifications in who participates in an issue network. (Also see routine politics.)
    • Hold: A hold is an informal communication from a senator to the Senate majority leader. By placing a hold, a Senator can keep a motion from reaching a vote.
    • Implementation: Legislative statutes are not self-implementing. Bureaucrats in executive branch agencies and departments develop rules to put a legislative policy into practice.
    • Individual rationality: When considering interactions between individuals, game theorists consider whether the individuals involved would have a rational basis for maintaining their interactions. Outcomes or events that depend on individuals violating rationality principles are less stable than those outcomes that maintain individual rationality conditions.
    • Information asymmetry: In most interactions between people, there is an information asymmetry in which some people are better informed and others are less well-informed. Whenever one hires an expert, there is an information asymmetry. For instance, a dentist knows more about a patient's teeth and the cost of fixing a problem than the patient.
    • Intense (high) demanders: Individuals or organizations that secure very large relative benefits from a good are typically intense demanders of that good. In the case of collective goods, intense demanders might fund the entire good or coordinate a collective effort to secure the good. Intense demanders in political parties are interest groups that demand a role in the selection of the party's nominees for office.
    • Interest-group liberalism: This is Theodore Lowi's term to describe the government's distribution of benefits to numerous unrelated organized interests while it imposes the costs on an unaware public.
    • Internal (or in-house) lobbyists: These are lobbyists who work full-time for one client. That client also is their employer. The employer is not itself in the lobbying business. For example, an internal lobbyist for GE would be an employee of GE. (Contrast this with external lobbyist.)
    • Iron triangles: The policymaking relationships among Congress, government agencies, and interest groups are sometimes referred to as iron triangles because participation from those beyond the triangles is limited. Participants in iron triangles share similar policy goals.
    • Issue arena: An issue arena is a broad substantive policy category such as urban policy, tax policy, defense policy, environmental policy, or trade policy.
    • Issue networks: Issue networks are more expansive policy subsystems than iron triangles, with many more participants. Issue networks are likely to include interest groups, representatives from federal agencies, congressional committee staff, and policy experts in universities and think tanks. Whereas all participants in iron triangles share similar policy objectives, participants in issue networks often have divergent policy objectives.
    • Lobbying: Any attempt to influence the decisions and policies of government officials is considered lobbying.
    • Lobbying enterprises: An informal group of lobbyists and legislators who have repeated interactions and share common goals is a lobbying enterprise. The repeated interactions reduce a legislator's uncertainty when dealing with lobbyists.
    • Lobbyist: A lobbyist is someone who lobbies as part of her job. There are internal (in-house) and external (contract) lobbyists.
    • Maquiladora: These are firms in one country that use tariff-free inputs from another country for their manufacturing. The term refers largely to United States firms located on Mexico's side of the U.S.–Mexico border. These firms can produce goods using tariff-free inputs from both countries and then export the manufactured goods to United States without paying export duties to Mexico or import duties to the United States.
    • Marginal benefits: Marginal benefits are the benefits yielded from the last dollar or the last unit of effort invested.
    • Marginal costs: Marginal costs are the costs associated with the last unit of effort invested.
    • Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MBTE): MBTE is a gasoline additive.
    • Mobilization on Development, Trade, Labor, and the Environment (MODTLE): MODTLE was a coalition of environmentalist, human rights,
    • family farm, food safety, worker rights, and civil rights organizations that joined labor unions to oppose any trade agreement with Mexico.
    • National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE): The NCWGE is a nonprofit coalition of more than fifty groups. Its mission is to advocate for the development of national education policies that benefit women and girls.
    • National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): The NFIB is a powerful small-business lobby that played an instrumental role in developing a coalition of business and farm organizations that pushed for repealing the estate tax.
    • Neopluralism: One of the approaches to understanding interest-group influence, it is a view of politics that sees multiple groups competing for political influence.
    • Nonrivalrous: See rivalrous consumption.
    • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): NAFTA created a trading bloc between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
    • Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA): OIRA's main job is to review proposed federal regulations and to determine whether a regulation's benefits outweigh its costs. OIRA also oversees the quality of data collected or used by federal agencies.
    • Office of Management and Budget (OMB): The OMB assists the Executive Office with preparing the federal budget and with reviewing rules and regulations.
    • Omnibus bills: Omnibus bills are single bills that address a wide range of issues and programs. Omnibus bills are frequently used to address budget issues.
    • Parts per billion (ppb): This is a unit of measurement used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in determining water standards.
    • Peak association: A peak (or umbrella) association is comprised of related firms or other organizations. Peak associations work to coordinate their affiliated organizations’ political activities. Examples of peak associations are the National Association of Manufacturers, which represents manufacturing interests in the United States, and the AFL–CIO, which is a federation of labor unions.
    • Perchlorate Study Group (PSG): The PSG was the primary lobbying coalition opposing stricter standards for perchlorate in water. The organization had four core members from the private sector: (1) Aerojet, (2) American Pacific Corporation, (3) Kerr-McGee Chemical, and (4) Lockheed Martin.
    • Personal contacts: Personal contacts include individuals in positions of power who one knows well enough to contact for favors, including information sharing.
    • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA): PhRMA is a trade association of companies that manufacture prescription drugs. PhRMA is among the most powerful lobbying organizations in Washington.
    • Player: A player is a member of a lobbying coalition who places little value in the collective good the coalition is seeking. Players seek private goods. They are apt to move in and out of coalitions as their interests change.
    • Police patrols: Police patrols is a metaphor used to describe a preemptive form of bureaucratic oversight. Oversight triggered by fire alarms occurs after a problem is uncovered. Police patrol oversight is meant to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
    • Policy formulation: Policy formulation is the second stage of the policymaking process. After a problem reaches the agenda, policymakers must develop ways to address the problem.
    • Policy legitimation: Policy legitimation is the policymaking stage when decision makers choose one among various policy proposals.
    • Policy subsystems: See iron triangle and issue networks.
    • Policy window: A policy window is a metaphor to illustrate the fact that opportunities to address policy problems vary considerably. A policy window is open when public opinion and elites see an issue as important to solve, when a viable policy alternative is available, and when political conditions favor the adoption of that alternative.
    • Political rents: Political rents are the additional profits that firms receive when they improve their economic position through favorable government actions.
    • Principal–agent dilemma: In a principal–agent model, the principal hires an agent to work on the principal's behalf. The principal secures the agent's expertise but loses some authority. Typically, information asymmetries characterize principal–agent models. That is, the agent has expertise and information that the principal does not. Recognizing that the agent has an informational disadvantage, the principal strives to write contractual agreements to bring the agent's preferences as close to his or her own as possible.
    • Private goods: Two features characterize private goods. They have rivalrous consumption, and they are excludable.
    • Problem definition: Problems can be defined or framed in various ways. How a problem is defined affects how government officials address the issue.
    • Procedural knowledge: Knowledge of the arcana associated with congressional lawmaking and bureaucratic rulemaking is considered procedural knowledge.
    • Progressive tax: Any tax that burdens wealthier individuals more than poorer individuals is a progressive tax. A tax on yachts—or any other luxury tax—is progressive because poor people seldom buy yachts.
    • Public policy: Any course of action taken by a government to address economic, social, or political problems is a public policy.
    • Reference dose (RfD): The RfD of toxic chemicals is an estimate of the daily exposure to the human population that is likely to be experienced without an appreciable risk of harmful effects during a lifetime.
    • Regressive tax: A tax that falls more heavily on lower income earners is regressive. For instance, taxes on grocery store items are regressive. Poor people spend a greater portion of their income on grocery store items than do rich people.
    • Rent seeking: Rent seeking is lobbying the government to improve an interest's economic position by securing political rents.
    • Rivalrous consumption: If a good's value is diminished by consumption, then that good has rivalrous consumption. Rivalrous consumption is a feature of private goods. Collective goods such as national defense are nonrivalrous.
    • Routine politics: Routine politics occur when policymakers follow standard operating procedures and make incremental changes in policies. Contrast routine politics with high politics.
    • Rules: Executive branch departments charged with implementing congressional statutes develop rules to flesh out congressional intent. In contrast to vaguely written congressional statutes, rules tend to be finely detailed. Most federal law stems from rules.
    • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): The SDWA requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the safe level of exposure to toxic chemicals in tap water.
    • Selective incentives: Selective incentives are benefits provided only to members of an interest group. Unlike a group's collective goods, selective incentives are private goods, so they are not vulnerable to free riding.
    • Sides (or Lobbying Sides): A lobbying side consists of all organizations lobbying for a given policy outcome. The organizations may be members of a formal coalition, may coordinate their lobbying efforts, or may lobby independently. (See coalition and cooperative lobbying.)
    • Substantive expertise: Substantive expertise includes and depends upon substantive knowledge of a policy issue. For example, substantive knowledge of pesticide policy would include knowledge of how various chemicals affect living organisms. See procedural knowledge.
    • Sunset provisions: Sunset provisions establish a date at which a policy or program will conclude unless Congress chooses to make an extension. Absent an extension, sunset provisions end programs and policies.
    • Tagalongs: Tagalongs are members of lobbying coalitions who are happy to cheap ride. They might lend their names to the coalition effort, but they seldom contribute very much.
    • Transaction costs: Any costs associated with individuals making a deal or coming to an agreement are transaction costs. Using an old cell phone with an old carrier because everyone knows the number makes sense if the transaction costs of switching to a new carrier, plan, and number are too great.
    • Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, or Unified Agenda: Each agency must publish all upcoming regulatory activities in the Unified Agenda.
    • Universalism: Universalism is the term used to describe a means of allocating legislative benefits in which every legislator secures rewards for some of his or her constituents.
    • USA*NAFTA: USA*NAFTA was a lobbying coalition with the purpose of organizing business lobbying for NAFTA.
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): The USDA is a cabinet-level department of the executive branch responsible for policy on food, farming, and agriculture.
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): HHS is a cabinet-level department in the executive branch. HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans.
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The FDA is primarily charged with ensuring food and drug safety.
    • U.S. Trade Representative (USTR): The USTR is responsible for developing trade policy for the U.S. government and works to resolve trade disputes between the United States and other countries. The USTR also meets with governments, business groups, members of Congress, and public interest groups to gather input on trade issues and to discuss the president's trade policy positions.
    • World Trade Organization (WTO): The WTO supervises international trade. It provides a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements and operates the system of trade agreements among the member nations.
    • World Wildlife Fund (WWF): WWF is an interest group working for the protection and restoration of the environment.


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