Front Page Forums Government Lobbying


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    Enact a law that prohibits lobbying.


    A prohibition on lobbying creates a barrier to corruption and helps keep the government more transparent by forcing the national discourse to be public where everyone can see the evidence, hear the arguments, and be aware of any compromises or deals that are made.

    The act of offering something to an official in private in exchange for acting, speaking, or voting a certain way would be illegal


    Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence or persuade a public official to take action on an issue. Lobbying is different than petitioning because lobbying happens in private while petitioning happens in public. Lobbyists attempt to gain access to public officials on the telephone or at a restaurant or at the hotel lobby to have a private conversation with them in which they attempt to influence the public official. Some lobbyists entice the officials with money or perks, such as promising donations to their campaign, or promising donations to a cause the official supports for which the official can later take credit as having found charitable donors, or paying for travel and accommodations for the official to a resort or to a special event. Public officials, influenced by lobbyists, end up taking actions on matters or speaking or voting on issues in irrational ways that benefit a small number of wealthy individuals instead of in ways that best for the country. This is corruption.

    While some people say that lobbying is done in an open and transparent manner because lobbyists have to register and disclose their activities. However, in practice, lobbying is merely a euphemism for bribery because the result is the same.

    There are plenty of examples of officials taking one stance in public, only to later reverse course inexplicably, to a direction that does not benefit the public. It is likely that something happened in private that wasn’t disclosed, and such reversals hurt the people’s trust in government.

    An act related to lobbying is influence peddling. This has a similar effect as lobbying, in which the public official acts, speaks, or votes in a way that benefits a small number of people instead of the public, but instead of someone approaching the public official for it, the public official is hustling to sell their potential influence to others. Influence peddling is like an official advertising that they are ready and willing to be bribed or lobbied.

    The national discourse must be in public. All petitions and offers to public officials must be public. Any conversation in private that leads to a change in position is automatically suspect. While we do consider a person to be innocent until proven guilty, suspicious behavior is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed, which then warrants an investigation.

    Bribery is already illegal in many places around the world. Lobbying must also be illegal.

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