Chapter 18: Politics and the Government
The actions of governmental bodies at the local, state, and federal level have a major
impact on how a business operates.
Government relations specialists, often called public affairs specialists, have a number of
functions: They gather information, disseminate management’s views, cooperate with
government on projects of mutual benefit, and motivate employees to participate in the
Lobbyist: A person who tries to influence the voting on legislation or the decisions of
government administrators. In other words, a lobbyist directs his or her energies to the defeat,
passage, or amendment of proposed legislation and regulatory agency policies.
Lobbying is closely aligned with governmental relations or public affairs, and the
distinction between the two often blurs.
Most campaigns to influence impending legislation have multiple levels. One level is
informing and convincing the public about the correctness of the organizations viewpoint,
which the public affairs specialist does.
Lobbyists can be found at the local, state, and federal levels of government.
Lobbyists usually outnumber legislators in any state capitol.
Washington lobbyists list about 30,000 individuals and organizations. The interests
represented include virtually the entire spectrum of U. S. business, educational,
religious, local, national, and international pursuits. The diversity of those groups can be
Opposing new regulations are ( 1) insurance companies, ( 2) HMO trade groups, ( 3) the
United States Chamber of Commerce, ( 4) the National Federation of Independent
Business, and ( 5) the American Association of Health Plans.
Conflicting interests and major lobbying is national energy legislation.
The Nature of Lobbying:
Public perceives that only big business lobbies, a variety of special interests do it too. Fortune,
for example, ranked the top 25 lobbying groups in Washington in terms of influence:
American Association of Retired Persons ( AARP)
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee