The term lobbyist refers to the people hired by groups or organizations with particular interests to convince members of Congress to pass or defeat legislation. Lobbyists may work on the behalf of different groups such as, business corporations, labor unions, executive branch agencies, foreign governments, or private or public interest groups. All these groups spend billions of dollars every year to gain access to lawmakers and try hard to influence their view on any political agenda. To clip the wings of lobbyists is a big issue in every democratic forum.
Some people think that the lobbyists are victimized with prejudice. They argue that it is impossible to prevent lobbying without abolishing the First Amendment, which provides Americans, even those who are paid to do it, the right to ‘petition the US government for a redress of objections raised by them.’ They even went to the extent that the government will be helpless in carrying out business effectively in the absence of lobbyist. Although, the statement may not be altogether false but during all this they fail to observe that the failure to produce legislation in the public interest stems from the existence of lobbyists in the corridors of power.
In the run up to the presidential election both Democratic Party candidate Barrack Obama and Republican Party nominee John McCain said that their campaign will not accept contributions from lobbyists. But that is hardly the truth. It's only a matter of time until someone calls for a law that makes it mandatory for every lobbyist in Washington to paint a big, ‘L’ on his forehead. You cannot rule out the presence of lobbyists in the both the major political parties Democratic and Republican.
For a moment, if we discard away the conservative view then lobbying is as American as apple pie, which goes back to colonial times. The Rev. Increase Mather lobbied UK to get a new charter for Massachusetts. Benjamin Franklin is being referred by some of the intellectuals as the colonial lobbyist for Pennsylvania and other colonies. When the federal government came into power, lobbyists swarmed to Washington to safeguard the interest of their clients. Lobbyists are always in the news online. From the sources in the Democratic Party, media came to know that healthcare, carbon-emission, and tax changes legislation has faced heavy lobbying.
A few section of the conservative democrat feels nothing wrong in it. They argue that whenever Congress tries to enact a law and the executive branch writes regulations---citizens whose lives are going to be affected by those words will try to modify it in their interest. To serve their purpose they hire the best people in the power corridors of Washington who can employ their connections and expertise to safeguard their interest. They can help the decision makers in the government to understand how the words they write will affect US citizens.
In a nutshell, lobbying simply means if you have the cash in your pocket then you can influence governmental decisions, this is not even democratic. It is a form of corruption indeed! Still no government does anything about it, because they use lobbyists during the polls.