A Model of Interest Group Advocacy
This chapter defines interest groups as people organized around some intensely felt desire or trait. Lobbyists start by understanding what the interests of government officials are. Choice of advocacy tactics depends on how good of a job the lobbyist has done aligning everyone's interests. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) lobbyist can advocate for a compromise everyone can live with. Members of Congress, presidential aides, administrative agency executives, and federal judges are all officials of the United States government and are responsible for making policy. Lobbyists need legislators to influence policy in Congress, so lobbyists must persuade legislators that what group members want is more or less consistent with what their re-election constituencies want. A legislator has every reason to help the part of his or her constituency that is in the interest group. This legislator is an ATA's champion legislator because he/she believes that it is advantageous to help truckers and the ATA in the House.