The Washington Lobbyists

By Lester W. Milbrath | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
CHARACTERISTICS OF PRESSURE GROUPS

Lobbyists are group representatives almost by definition. A person who represents only himself is merely a citizen exercising his constitutional right; he is not paid, and he is not required to register, although he may try to influence the decisions of officials in much the same manner as a lobbyist. Lobbyists represent someone -- usually more than one person -- other than themselves before governmental decision-makers. Only one of the 101 lobbyists interviewed for this study represented a single individual; all the others represented one or more organizations. The nature of the group base from which lobbyists operate will be explored -- but briefly, since groups in politics have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere.1

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1
See Bentley ( 1908), Truman ( 1951), Schattschneider ( 1961, 1935), Latham ( 1952), Gross ( 1953), Herring ( 1929), Bailey ( 1950), Riggs ( 1950), Hardin ( 1952), Ebersole ( 1951), and Blaisdell ( 1957). Blaisdellalso edited an issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science( 1958) devoted entirely to pressure groups and lobbies. The Annals has also devoted many past issues to lobbying and pressure groups. See the Bibliography.

The group approach to politics has also been thoroughly criticized. See Garceau ( 1951, 1958), Odegard ( 1958), Stedman ( 1953), Taylor ( 1952), Monypenny ( 1954), and Rothman ( 1960).

-28-

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