116

There definitely are organizations that are counter. Brady is nearly as famous. The reason it's not as seemingly effective is due to the fact that - due to political structure of the United States - it is far more work to pass sweeping arms control legislation: any efforts that are pro-2d-amendment automatically have the "this is what Constitution says" ...


104

Let's take a moment to visit how the word "lobbying" came about. In the British Houses of Parliament, there is an area called Central Lobby (between the Commons and the Lords), which is where members of the public could meet their representatives to discuss an issue and persuade them to support it. The term "to lobby" came from the location in Parliament ...


70

The mechanics of lobbying can work at several levels. "Senator, I represent the National Association of Flute and Tuba Manufacturers. Were you aware that flute and tuba manufacturers are the fifth largest employer in your state? Could I have 20 minutes of your time to present a white paper about the importance of tax policy X for the health of flute and ...


65

The short cynical answer? There is money to be made selling Guns. There is no money to be made by not selling guns. Money is what lobbyists are all about.


57

Lobbying is trying to persuade decision makers to see a certain issue your way. Bribery is paying decision makers to do what you want. The difference is in the "persuading" part: a lobbyist wants to convince the decision maker to agree with them. Whereas when you bribe someone, you fully expect them to disagree with you, but still do what you want ...


49

Many countries adopt some variant of solution (3): Putting restrictions to the usage of wealth in political situations. This solution is used in many western states, but is of course a violation of free speech and the possibility to exercise political influence at will. The assumption "of course this is a violation of free speech" is not universally ...


49

AIPAC is not a foreign influence. It is a United States organization run by US citizens. When you hear complaints about Russia and China, they tend to be about actions that are believed to involve the governments of those countries. For example, the claim is that the Russian government spear-phished John Podesta to get his emails. Or that a Chinese ...


47

My version of an answer for children in Jr. High: The first thing to know is every politician, like the Governor or a Senator, has a campaign fund that anyone can give money to. It costs at least 2 million dollars to run all of the TV ads and other stuff to win an election for congress, and just as much the next time, which means they're always trying to get ...


45

This is actually exactly what Uber does. The common Uber practice is for Uber to enter a city under circumstances that range from legal, to questionable, to clearly illegal. They will then rush in with lots of marketing and lobbying to sway both the general population and the local government and earn a foothold in the city. Once they have secured this they ...


43

I reject your basic hypothesis. You're conflating influence with votes. It is not common to buy votes. We have secret ballots specifically to make this hard and laws to make it illegal. That's not to say it doesn't happen but it is not encouraged in any democratic society. However, influencing voters is encouraged. This has been true since the dawn of ...


42

That would require a workable definition of "lobbying," and it would almost certainly exclude things you do not want to exclude. A citizen phones his representative to tell him his opinion about a proposed law. Not lobbying, I presume. A citizen tells his friends to phone their representatives to tell them their opinion about a proposed law. Probably not ...


40

A legitimate lobbyist is paid to explain the needs of some special interest groups to the politicians. And also how the needs of that special interest group benefit the electorate as a whole, or at least not harm it. Less savory means include the bundling of donations from multiple sources for improved impact. Say there is a slump in the dairy industry. A ...


32

There was no official explanation given by the Trump administration in the new executive order that he signed to revoke the ethics executive order (13770), as noted by Politico. However, the Clinton administration had issued an executive order (13184) close to the end of his term revoking a similar ethics executive order (12834). There also did not appear to ...


30

The question seems to assume that the only reason for business licensing and regulation by local governments is because of monopolistic cronyism. Many of the licensing requirements for taxi companies is for the benefit of the local citizens (many require that they act certain ways in procuring business at airports, that they offer services to certain areas, ...


30

One of the problems inherent in a representative democracy is that the representative must have some means of knowing what the people s'he represents want and need. People have to be able to communicate with h'er. There are actually many avenues of communication available: from the act of voting itself, to letters, emails, and other correspondence, to ...


29

It's important to distinguish between the BLM network, co-founded by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, and the BLM movement, which is a far less well-defined collection of anti-racism groups and individuals. The New Yorker describes the latter as "eschewing hierarchy and centralized leadership". The BLM movement has a very loose ...


26

At the basic premise, sensible gun control legislation isn't going to last because one side is more invested than the other. Those supporting the right to keep and bear arms, and the associated protections enshrined in the Second Amendment, see efforts that would restrict their ability to freely exercise their rights as an attack on the same. The opposition, ...


23

The simplest answer is there's no coherent anti-gun argument because the path to achieve what they want involves banning and confiscating all guns. Whenever we have a mass shooting in the US (which is what typically sparks these debates), the subject of gun control comes up. But the laws that inevitably come up would do little, if anything, to prevent mass ...


21

limiting access of those with mental illness to guns. There is a worry that mental illness restrictions will be abused. For example, New York state has the SAFE Act, which is intended to catch people who are dangers to themselves or others. But in one example, the wrong person was put on the list. Apparently there were two people with similar names. ...


21

Let's have a look at the text of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. emphasis added Notice there ...


20

Tesla wants to build cars like their cybertruck without side-view mirrors and instead give people camera's because side-view mirrors make a cars drag coefficient worse. That means that the car needs more energy to drive and has a reduced range for the same battery. Unfortunately, there's currently a law that all cars need to have side-view mirrors. In a ...


19

There is a fairly powerful anti-gun lobby in the US. It's managed to get hundreds of laws passed. When you get down to it, the NRA isn't really what stops most gun control measures from passing though. The NRA has only a few million members--but according to a recent Gallup poll, around 42% of American households own at least one firearm1. The NRA just the ...


17

If you looking in the USA, the source of data would ultimately come from legally required campaign finance and financial disclosures filed with the FEC (Federal Elections Commission). FEC: Campaign Finance Data FEC: Campaign Finance Disclosure Search However, things get murkier with assorted PACS, "dark money" and third party "independent" expenditures. ...


15

Rather than cutting off lobbying, something rather difficult to do, or just plain undesirable, in principle as other answers have already pointed out, one could mitigate its issues by forbidding political funding by lobbyists. That would not shut off communication between a politician and their constituents, but it would remove a lever lobbyists have to ...


13

According to Politifact, the NRA's claim of a minor amount of money spent during the 2017 elections was minor (comparatively). But the graph they produce show a clear trend of them looking at elections as a two year cycle, and 2017 happened to be their off year. In 2016 they reportedly spent $55 million, when some sources claimed it could have been high as $...


12

The answer(s) to a question like this are pretty obvious and not unique to the oil industry: It employs a lot people domestically; almost 900,000 directly, if the industry lobby can be believed. (I'm offering the industry figures here, because the official BLS data is extremely badly organized on this; the derrick operators or "rotary drill, oil and ...


11

No incumbent fundraising The simplest method in the United States would be to bar people who are currently in office from running for office, forming campaign committees, and asking for donations to political committees. This would get around the free speech issue, as it is a restriction on employees rather than citizens. Also, we aren't restricting the ...


11

There are different types of foreign influences. Lobbying through AIPAC or other groups as done by Israel and Saudi Arabia is legal, direct and somewhat transparent. Consequently, this is usually tolerated (although some people do have slight ethical concerns about the pratice). Influence through hacking, phishing, spying or other such methods is illegal, ...


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