The Washington Lobbyists

By Lester W. Milbrath | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
KEEPING COMMUNICATION CHANNELS OPEN

Open and free communication is of paramount importance to the lobbyist. To the extent that certain channels of communication are closed to him, he is impaired in doing his job. Even the closing of a mind constitutes the shutting off of a channel. It is essential, therefore, that the lobbyist be sensitive to the problem of open communication.

The lobbyist must keep all types of channels clear; the main types are sketched in Figure I, page 181. Since the direct channels from lobbyist to decision-maker are in the most danger of being closed, they are the ones to which lobbyists devote the most attention. The decision to open or close the direct channel lies almost exclusively with the governmental decision-maker; he can decide to whom he will listen. The decision to listen or not to listen enables officials to prescribe the conditions for access and indirectly to control the behavior of lobbyists.1 Lobbyists use several methods to ensure open channels.

The tactics discussed in this chapter have been categorized

____________________
1
See the discussion at the end of this chapter and in Chapter XVI.

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