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Chapter 12 Lobbyists: Ten Myths About Power and Influence Rogan Kersh © 2008 Delmar Chapter 12 Lobbyists: Ten Myths About Power and Influence Rogan Kersh © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #1 – “Health Care Is Different” • Popular image of health care as Myth #1 – “Health Care Is Different” • Popular image of health care as a species apart is specious – Health care is a big business – It attracts a full complement of lobbyists 2 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #2 – “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” • Lobbying on health policy has become Myth #2 – “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” • Lobbying on health policy has become unpredictable and chaotic – Supremely fluid “issue networks” • Kersh suggests health care lobbying functions around somewhat more stable, semi-permanent “issue regimes” 3 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #3 – “It’s a Man’s World” • Lobbying has traditionally been assumed to Myth #3 – “It’s a Man’s World” • Lobbying has traditionally been assumed to be monopolized by men • In health policy, more female lobbyists have entered the business – Nearly matching the number of male lobbyists in this issue area 4 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #4 – “K” is for Republican • Republican-led “K Street Project” – Assumed Myth #4 – “K” is for Republican • Republican-led “K Street Project” – Assumed lobbyists had switched allegiance en masse to the GOP • In terms of campaign contributions and organizational practice – Such claims seem to be exaggerated – Particularly in the area of health policy 5 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #5 – “Lobbying Targets as Rational Choices” • Longstanding assumption holds that lobbyists Myth #5 – “Lobbying Targets as Rational Choices” • Longstanding assumption holds that lobbyists carefully select “targets” of lobbying – Based largely on their supposed position on an issue 6 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #5 – “Lobbying Targets as Rational Choices” • Evidence suggests inherent legislative chaos Myth #5 – “Lobbying Targets as Rational Choices” • Evidence suggests inherent legislative chaos and the pooling of resources under lobbying coalitions makes individual decisions of this sort rare 7 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth # 6 – “Clients Are King” • It is commonly thought that lobbyists Myth # 6 – “Clients Are King” • It is commonly thought that lobbyists merely serve to transmit the preferences of client firms to decision makers – Thus affecting policy outcome 8 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth # 6 – “Clients Are King” • In actuality: – Lobbyists often act Myth # 6 – “Clients Are King” • In actuality: – Lobbyists often act somewhat independently in order to burnish overall reputation in policy community – Or push for policy outcome in which one truly believes 9 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #7 – “The Revolving Door Corrupts Completely” • Many believe a revolving door Myth #7 – “The Revolving Door Corrupts Completely” • Many believe a revolving door exists between policymaking and lobbying – Creating numerous conflicts of interest • Many former officials go into lobbying because of the passion they feel for certain issues – Not purely out of opportunism 10 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #8 – “Donations Buy Access (Or Even Votes)” • It is often assumed Myth #8 – “Donations Buy Access (Or Even Votes)” • It is often assumed PAC/lobbyist contributions “buy” access to officials, or even policy outcomes • Rationales for such contributions are more varied – Many lobbyists contribute as a form of “insurance” with members of Congress 11 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #9 – “Everybody Does It Abramoff-style” • Corruption on the scale of the Myth #9 – “Everybody Does It Abramoff-style” • Corruption on the scale of the Abramoff scandal is assumed to be rife on K Street • Evidence suggest Abramoff is the exception – Rather than the rule on many counts 12 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.

Myth #10 – “It’s All About the Spin” • “Information” lobbyists provide to members Myth #10 – “It’s All About the Spin” • “Information” lobbyists provide to members of Congress is assumed to be repackaged depending on the member’s ideological leanings • In actuality, most members received the same information from lobbyists, with only minor differences 13 © 2008 Delmar Cengage Learning.