The Washington Lobbyists

By Lester W. Milbrath | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF LOBBYISTS

This chapter examines the social, economic, and personality characteristics of lobbyists--whether they are different from ordinary people, and, if so, in what ways. In some respects, lobbyists show the same variety of characteristics as the general population. They are male and female, old and young, extrovert and introvert, successful and unsuccessful, and so forth. As a special political skill group, however, they differ in important respects from the general population. The differences may be better illuminated if we show what lobbyists in this sample are not. None of them is a blue-collar worker; only one respondent placed himself in the lower or working class; most placed themselves in the upper-middle class; none in the sample is Negro; none ended his education at the elementary level; only two have incomes of less than $5,000.

Respondents were asked if they could think of a group of traits that seem to characterize most lobbyists they knew. They generally had difficulty with this question. Many of them had never thought about it before, and their on-the-spot reflections did not produce anything approaching a majority view. Typical

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