PSCI-3061 State and Local Gov, Californi'a Lobbyists

PSCI-3061 State and Local Gov, Californi'a Lobbyists -...

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California’s Lobbyists Regulation PSCI-3061 State and Local Politics May 11, 2009 California’s Lobbyists Regulation State governing bodies, the legislature, governors office, judiciary and the bur- eaucracy are the most important institutions that govern the lives of everyday people. Every aspect of American life is in some way tied to these institutions. They govern, they determine our laws, our standards, our regulations, our economy, and our busi- nesses, they create the structures that allow us to pursue happiness. Industry, busi- ness, education, religion, all rely on the state institutions, everyone has some stake in what state government does. It is no surprise then that these governing bodies are also the primary target for attention. With this reliance, comes great responsibility, and with responsibility comes pressure. Interests groups, industry, business interests, from big oil to religious and social groups all seek to promote their goals and policies by influencing the decisions and policies of the governing institutions. Each year, interests groups, in- cluding business interests, social interests, local interests and private interests (lobby- ists employers) spend millions of dollars in an effort to promote their policies. The primary resources interests groups utilize as a tool of promoting their own interests are lobbyists and lobbying firms. Lobbyists are generally lawyers, or former government offi- cials who use their knowledge governments, and the individuals who form governments, to attempt to influence government toward the interests of their clients (Smith. 2008). The public and media often view lobbyists as parasites, paid to corrupt government us- ing money, gifts, and other questionable tactics to influence the minds of our represent- atives. Given the controversy surrounding the role lobbyists play in government, its no 1
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California’s Lobbyists Regulation wonder that many feel the need to regulate their activities, control how money and gifts influence the policies that govern everyone's lives. In todays political culture lobbyists still play a role in the formation and process of policy making, however that role has evolved over time and continues to evolve. Regulation of the industry has become the standard in the states. However each state has a different method of policy formation and enforcement. Using California as an example, the factors that contribute to how California's regulation is structured are primarily the diversity and number of active in- terests groups in the state, the political culture dominant in California and the profes- sionalization of California's governing institutions. California's lobby regulation reflects these factors and attempts to create a balance between allowing interests groups and the lobbyists they employ to continue to operate and creating the transparent govern- ment the media and public demand. California is a prime example for examining the role of lobbyists in government. Cali-
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PSCI-3061 State and Local Gov, Californi'a Lobbyists -...

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