12 December 2012

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Understanding Lobbying system of America a need for India to legalize Lobbying

Understanding Lobbying system of America a need for India to legalize Lobbying

Understanding lobbying

A lobbyist, according to the legal sense of the word, is a professional, often a lawyer. Lobbyists are intermediaries between client organizations and lawmakers: they explain to legislators what their organizations want, and they explain to their clients what obstacles elected officials face.

One definition of a lobbyist is someone "employed to persuade legislators to pass legislation that will help the lobbyist's employer.

Many lobbyists work in lobbying firms or law firms, some of which retain clients outside lobbying. Others work for advocacy groups, trade associations, companies, and state and local governments.

Lobbying happens in every country lobbying is legal in few countries and lobbying is illegal in few countries.

Example –

Lobbying in America is legal = this reduces creation of black money

Lobbying in India is illegal – This creates black money in the country

You may call lobbying a legal bribe given to political parties, but this helps the citizens to know which big company is demanding what and this way you as a customer can decide how to respond by not purchasing the products made by the xyz company.

When lobbying is illegal in a country what happens is that big company owners pay the money in black to political parties and they demand illegal things from the politician and because of this politicians start to behave like fools and give away national properties and natural resources to companies free of cost.

Example is =
Develop Road Spend 100 billion and then collect toll and taxes from citizens for unspecified period and thus company makes profits of 10000000000000000 Billion dollars in future.

What is Lobbying –?

Lobbying in the United States can be defined as a paid activity in which small or big companies hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in decision-making bodies such as the United States Congress.

Types of Lobbying –

Inside lobbying, or sometimes called direct lobbying, describes efforts by lobbyists to influence legislation or rule making directly by contacting legislators and their assistants, sometimes called staffers or aides.

Outside lobbying, or sometimes indirect lobbying, includes attempts by interest group leaders to mobilize citizens outside the policymaking community, perhaps by public relations methods or advertising, to prompt them to pressure public officials within the policymaking community.

One example of an outside lobbying effort is a film entitled In Justice, made by a group promoting lawsuit reform.

When Indian citizens tried to get Jan Lokpal bill under the Anna Hazare was a one type of outside lobbying by Indian citizens and Anna Hazare.

Example –

If xyz company wants to do legally lottery business and if lottery business is illegal in country, then xyz company will hire an advocate or lawyer who is well connected to the Politician or remote control of Political party, then that advocate will use his all intelligence and money on that specified goal and see that Political agrees and makes lottery business legal in the country.

2nd step in this is that it is compulsory for the xyz company to inform the parliament that he has spent xyz money on the goal of getting lottery business legal in the country.

When Lobbying is illegal, that is not legal what happens

Lottery business man tell to politician sir I will pay you 100 Billion dollars and you allow me do illegal business of lottery or liquor in country and please tell the police department and CBI not to raid my offices I will pay them also.

Please you just inform us how much money I need to pay?

This happened Lottery business thrives in both countries that is USA and India.

Difference is USA there is no black money.

India – Full of Black money

In 18th Century Lobbying started in America

1792 –

, just three years after the US Constitution was adopted, William Hull was hired by the Virginia veterans of the Continental army to lobby for additional compensation for their war services.
Hull wrote to other veterans' groups, recommending that they have their "agent or agents" cooperate with him during the next session to pass a compensation bill.

The first attempt to regulate lobbying came in 1928 where the Senate enacted a bill requiring lobbyists to register with the secretary of the Senate and clerk of the House. However, the House of Representatives blocked the idea, and despite notable scandals no further legislative action on lobbying was proposed until after the Second World War.

Eighteen years after the Senate’s original attempt, Congress adopted the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act.

 This act defined a lobbyist as any person "who by himself, or through any agent or employee or other persons in any manner whatsoever, directly or indirectly, solicits, collects, or receives money or any other thing of value to be used principally . . . to influence, directly or indirectly, the passage or defeat of any legislation by the Congress of the United States."

Anyone meeting this description was required to register name, address, salary, and expenses with the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House, and to file quarterly reports on funds received or spent, "to whom and for what purpose" those funds were paid, "the names of newspapers and magazines in which the lobbyist 'caused to be published' articles or editorials," and the proposed legislation the lobbyist was employed to support or oppose.

Lobbyists were also required to keep detailed accounts of all contributions of five hundred dollars or more made to members of Congress.

Criminal penalties were assigned for any violation of this act.

The Lobbying and Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. § 1601) was legislation aimed at bringing a level of accountability to federal lobbying practices in the United States.

The law was amended substantially by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.
Under provisions, which took effect on January 1, 2006, lobbyists are required to register with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate.

Anyone failing to do so is punishable by a civil fine of up to $50,000.
The clerk and secretary must refer any acts of non-compliance to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Ability of individuals, groups, and corporations to lobby the government is protected by the right to petition in the First Amendment.

 It is protected by the Constitution as free speech; one accounting was that there were three Constitutional provisions, which protect the freedom of interest groups to "present their causes to government” and various decisions by the Supreme Court have upheld these freedoms over the course of two centuries.

Even corporations have been considered in some court decisions to have many of the same rights as citizens, including their right to lobby officials for what they want.

As a result, the legality of lobbying took "strong and early root" in the new republic.

In India what happens if any big company or small company wants a law, which will help citizens of India as well the company, then also company has to pay a bribe, they cannot spend money legally for that purpose.

But if any company wants that solar energy should not be used in India they, will pay bribe to politicians and politicians will encourage nuclear energy and they will not encourage solar energy.

Lobbying system means honest system.

Lobbying system helps people unite for the cause

Many times corporations spend money for the society also for the cause, which helps society in general.

India needs to legalize the lobbying in India Currently Lobbying happens in India in close doors, behind doors, which generates black money everywhere.

Currently Indian Politicians are fighting on the FDI Wall Mart Spending on Lobbying

But do you know that Indian companies also spend for Lobbying in America

More than 20 Indian companies and trade associations have hired American lobbying firms to promote their business interests since 2006.

These include

Reliance India

Tata Sons

Ranbaxy Lab

The National Association of Software and Service Companies

The Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council

The All India Rice Export Promotion Council

The Carpet Export Promotion Council.

Ranbaxy, paid $90,000 to the lobbying firm Patton Boggs, related to the issue described as “Preserve Access to Affordable Generics,” according to a document registered in 2010.

Tata Sons paid an undisclosed amount under $10,000 to the Cohen Group, according to a document from 2007, related to issues described as “exploring market in the defense sector.”

Reliance Industries became a client of the lobbyist Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, according to a 2009 document, on the unspecified issue of “TRD,” meaning trade.

But regarding India we does not know  which company spend , spent for how much and spend for which reason and which cause.

Suggested Reading –

Part 2 Understanding Lobbying, is not a bribe paid by the Companies or anyone

Reality views by sm –

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tags – Lobbying USA Walmart


Renu December 12, 2012  

I dont think we need to leagalise it...why make corruption legal? we have enough of our vice, why bring one more from there..

Happy Kitten December 12, 2012  

It was good to understand lobbying.. but I wonder how it will survive in India since even in America there has been cases of misuse. And moreover big money will come into play and only their interests might win. Advertisements are one way in which they lobby for votes and both the presidential candidates have spent a huge amount.. if for every policy the rich is going to win it will be the same situation since US is not the same as India. Our rich - poor ratio or divide is high.

MEcoy December 12, 2012  

great post sm well i think they should'nt do that

Destination Infinity December 12, 2012  

If lobbying did not involve money, and lobbyists convince politicians based on the merit of a policy/law that will enable public wellness, then it is fine.

But, Lobbying by giving money/gifts is a (direct) form of corruption. I am not sure how this can be justified or legalized.

Destination Infinity

Kirtivasan Ganesan December 13, 2012  

the amount 100000000000 billion is not debatable. But whether enough for many generation is.