PLSC 083 Lobbying the Federal Government


October 1, 2001


Reminders about next week:

Paper due in class October 3. Overview of the case you want to analyze. Think right away about your analysis, and begin taking notes on the case. Read not only the case summary on the web, if you choose one of those, but also the archived source material as well. Cases towards the top of the web page are the best documented.


Papers due on Wed. from Group 1 (H-Z)


Note from last Thursday’s New York Times (9/27/01): “Book Says Nixon Considered a Woman for Supreme Court.”  John Dean, former White House counsel (and source of much of the most important Watergate evidence), has published a new book entitled “The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment that Redefined the Supreme Court.” Here are a few excerpts from presidential archives and tapes of conversations:



Proposed Amendment 27—Equal Rights Amendment

[proposed March 22, 1972]


Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after date of ratification.


This proposed amendment was never ratified by the requisite 3/5 of the states. Now maybe you have a feel for how people thought about it back then. Some people, at least. Note how dramatically public policy, and even what are considered acceptable statements, have changed in 30 years.


This week’s readings: Browne Ch. 4, 5, 6.


Ch. 4:  Targeting the public


Ch. 5: Targeting policymakers


Ch. 6. Targeting Other Interests

§         Creating a large coalition. Not working alone. Why should others work with you? Sense of momentum. People want to work on an issue that is “moving,” or has a chance of success. Need to create a large coalition to give the feeling that success is possible.

§         Finding a congressional sponsor, from among those who already agree with you, to really “carry the water,” or spend scarce time really focusing on your issue and being its primary champion. What does a group do for an MC who is willing to do that? Make it easy for him or her by providing aide. Groups become the “service bureaus” of Congress.

§         Because of uncertainty and the fact that the same groups do not constantly win, lobbyists are constantly attempting to build bridges, to reduce “chaos” or to lobby in any direction they possibly can. The difficulty of lobbying on one issue at a time. Lobbyists are involved simultaneously on scores of issues, many of which interrelate. [Think of this as you consider why different groups became the leaders on the issue you focus on. Why did they decide to focus on that issue rather than some other question?]


Next week: Winners and Losers.