27 February 2008

2357) Who Are Lobbyists & What Motivates Them? : New Series: Lobbying 101 : P:1

I. OUTLINE : . . Who are lobbyists and what motivates them?

1. Understanding the role of interest group politics within the broader political system.
a. Definition of lobbying.
b. History of lobbying.
c. The strategic use of information.
d. Laws and regulations governing lobbying.
e. Campaigns, politics, and money.

2. The role of lobbies in a democracy.
a. Better representation of a wide range of interests.
b. Threats to the public interest? Misleading lobbying activities & misinformed decision-makers.
c. Russia & NGO Regulation
See Example: Russia NGO Law : Appendix I
The Russian NGO law imposes a new and stricter regime for the several hundred thousand NGOs operating in Russia. In the name of protecting Russian national interests and security, the law allows for investigations into the NGOs’ political leanings, sources of funding, and overall adherence to Russian national policy.

II. EXERCISE, ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS

The first thing to do before you begin this course is to take a minute right now and get a pen and paper. Write down all the inaccurate news and information you have heard about Turkey. Include negative images and why you think these images and inaccuracies have arisen.

Click Here For BASICS OF LOBBYING : Appendix II

See  Click Here For Proposals for Ethics Office -- Lobbying Laws Enforcement & Reform: Appendix III

1) A Senate committee rejects bipartisan proposal to establish an independent office to oversee the enforcement of congressional ethics and lobbying laws, signaling a reluctance in Congress to strengthen enforcement of its rules on lobbying.
2) Pro-Israel Lobbying Group Roiled by Prosecution of Two Ex-Officials.
3) Love of country led Sibel Edmonds to become a translator for the F.B.I. following 9/11. But everything changed when she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals.

See United States: ETHICS & LOBBYING REFORM (click here) Appendix IV

See European Union: ETHICS & LOBBYING REFORM (click here) : Appendix V

See USA: HISTORY OF WASHINGTON SCANDALS(click here) AppendixVI

. .

Study the following web sites:
1) The American League of Lobbyists  www.alldc.org
2) Public Campaign: Clean Money, Clean Elections  www.publicampaign.org (see links)
3) Center for Responsive Politics  www.opensecrets.org
4) Center for Public Integrity  www.publicintegrity.org
5) Alliance for Better Campaigns  >www.bettercampaigns.org

As you work through the course, we suggest that you follow these guidelines:
Read as many papers as you can regularly, and follow all the radio and television programs that you can.
Optimize your use of the Internet so that you receive valuable and carefully selected information on a daily basis.
Learn the key phrases and keywords of each unit See Glossary :Appendix VII

III. QUESTIONS

How does money effect the ideal of equality of opportunity to serve in public office? Is the candidate who spends the most, the one who usually wins? What is the role of hard work, an efficient campaign organization, and effective campaign techniques?
Representative democracy is based on majority rule. If political equality is the essence of democracy, is there a conflict between political freedom and political equality due to improper influence?
Power is not distributed equally in society. Who are the powerful circles in society and what factors, other than money, determine the degree of their power?
Is there any truth to the claim that campaign contributions can "buy" politicians, lawmakers, policymakers, or their votes? Are regulations to limit the influence of big money in politics working?
What are ethical lobbying practices and is there a code of ethics in most countries?
In what instances can the influence and contributions of special interest groups be dangerous?
How do you describe the relationship between the freedom to spend and the right to freedom of speech as part of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?
Is public trust eroding around the globe? Are elections perceived as for sale? What are some recent global scandals?
Is it possible that the technological revolution, combined with intensified lobbying activities, could damage democratic systems if these systems fail to develop ways of verifying the accuracy of the material that is provided to lawmakers?
If the public is indifferent and not engaged, who will hold government officials accountable?
When can legislators trust lobbyists and rely on their "expertise" which is based on their area of "special" interest? (Remember, lobbies strategically use information to achieve their goals. Whenever lobbies have information that is presented to uninformed lawmakers, there is a chance lawmakers can be mislead and manipulated).

IV. BACKGROUND MATERIAL

Brief definition of lobbying: Advocacy of a point of view, either by groups or individuals. The definition of a lobby and the activity of lobbying is a matter of differing interpretation. One definition of lobbying is limited to direct attempts to influence lawmakers by direct contact in order to influence the passage or defeat of legislation. Another definition of lobbying includes indirect attempts, such as grassroots advocacy (grassroots activities may attempt to shape public opinion that is favorable to a desired legislative goal--or against it--by encouraging members of a group to gather in public, to call or write to their representative, or to visit their district representative or state senator).

  • Lobby: (used as a verb) "To lobby" means to apply pressure, present arguments, or other incentives to try to make a political decision-maker favor the position of the lobby. "To lobby" means to try to influence or convince lawmakers or governmental bodies to take a specific action.
  • Lobby: (used as a noun) As a noun, a "lobby" is an organized collection of people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of influencing government policy. Many of these groups seek to promote legislation, or political action, or to change public opinion in order to promote their own ideas, interests, agenda, and welfare. Lobbies carry out the function of "interest articulation." The activity they are engaged in is known as "lobbying." A lobby is often called an "interest group," or sometimes a "special interest group," or a "pressure group." Lobbies can also be referred to as "ethnic interest groups," "organized interests," and "single interest groups." These groups strategically use and transmit information to achieve their goals (activities can be nationwide, local, global, or within the EU). There are different types of lobbying such as legislative lobbying and media lobbying, as well as different targets such as the general public or think-tanks. The definition of a lobby, and the activity of lobbying sometimes is a matter of differing interpretation. A lobby can mean a group, person, or firm which is registered to lobby in the U.S., or a lobby can mean an informal organization of people. One definition of lobbying is limited to direct attempts to influence lawmakers by direct contact and face-to-face meetings with lawmakers in order to influence the passage or defeat of legislation. This includes communication with any member or employee of a legislative body or government official who may participate in the formulation of the legislation. Another definition of lobbying includes indirect attempts, such as grassroots pressure and mobilization, coalition building, advertising, public relations, the use of mass media, and electronic lobbying. Indirect lobbying and supporting political campaigns can be done by various groups such as

    corporations, trade associations, professional associations, unions, governmental organizations, policy institutes, NGO's, and non-profit organizations. This includes interrelated strategies and multiple-target advocacy and pressure (a combination of direct influence and the public arena). The most effective type of lobbying is all-directional lobbying, or multiple-target advocacy and pressure (a combination of direct influence and targeting the public arena). This requires interrelated strategies. There is ongoing debate over whether lobbies serve the public interest because they are often representing interests seeking objectives and outcomes that benefit narrow sectors in society. They have also been criticized for the selective information they sometimes transmit to pressure members of Congress. The plural of the word lobby is "lobbies." A "lobbyist" is a person, or firm, employed by a particular interest to lobby law makers or governmental bodies. Targets of  influence are sometimes called lobbying contacts.
  • Lobby (Turkish lobby USA): The general definition of the Turkish lobby consists of two lobbying groups. The first group is made-up of  lobbyists in Washington, D.C. that are hired by the Turkish government. The other group refers to the Turkish-American community in the U.S., which is estimated to be somewhere between 300,000-400,000. It is estimated that only 50,000 to 80,000 Turkish-Americans vote in the U.S. elections. The community is represented by many Turkish-American organizations which have been established in different states of the U.S. (these associations are based on different interests, such as cultural, business, medical, scientific, or educational). In 1979, when the Assembly of  Turkish American Associations (ATAA) was established in Washington, D.C., many Turkish-American organizations became members, enabling the ATAA to act and serve as an umbrella organization. The ATAA has represented the Turkish community in the capital, in federal and state governments, and interacted with the media and the pubic. Because a large percentage of Turkish-Americans live in the northeastern U.S., especially near New York State, the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), based in New York City, has been active in coordinating grassroots activities. The Turkish-American community can be divided into two groups: those who have come from the Turkish Republic, and those who have come to America from areas outside Turkey, such as Cyprus, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The estimated figure of these groups combined is 500,000-600,000 (only a small percentage are U.S. citizens, but are often referred to as Turkish-Americans).
  • Lobbying: To conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials on legislation. Hired lobbyists, foreign agents, grassroots movements, and other efforts by an organized collection of people with similar concerns can participate in lobbying for the purpose of influencing government policy and public opionion.

  • Lobbying (USA): The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1994, increased the disclosure requirements for lobbyists operating in the U.S. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of  lobbying they conduct. The disclosure also makes public the areas in which a lobbyist works for a client, who the client is, and how much the lobbyist is paid for his work. Lobbyists are required to register under the law if: 1) they receive more than $5,000 from a client for lobbying over a six-month period; 2) they have frequent contacts with congressional staff, members, or executive branch officials; 3) and more than 20% of their time working for a client involves lobbying. Any group that has its own lobbyists in-house must register once expenses on lobbying exceed $20,500 in six months. A person, or a firm, who conducts lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, and who represent the interests of foreign countries on Capitol Hill, or with the executive branch, is known as a "foreign agent." They are subject to disclosure regulations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. Foreign commercial interests that meet all the criteria under the U.S. Lobbying Disclosure Act must register with the House or the Senate. Click here for more information.
  • Lobbying (EU): Lobbying in the U.S. seeks to promote or secure the passage of legislation in Congress, but lobbying targets can be members of a legislative body anywhere in the world, such as representatives of the European Union (it should be noted that despite the co-decision procedure, the European Parliament is not fully authorized to make laws and works as a colegislature with the EU's Council of Ministers). Because many European Union institutions and bodies are located in Brussels, most European-wide lobbying organizations have their headquarters there. Brussels-based lobbying has been attracting attention since the 1990's. Corporations, PR firms, trade associations, commercial and industrial interests, consumer protection organizations,  human rights groups, animal welfare activists, aid organizations, and single-issues lobbies all have representative offices in Brussels. The emergence of new technologies has also made NGO's aware of how important the battle for public opinion is, as they compete for media attention in order to communicate effectively with EU citizens and the world. Despite the growth of professional lobbying firms in Brussels, their impact on decisions and how they operate have not been extensively examined. Although the European Commission has a list of hundreds of bodies it consults, there is no official register of recognized lobbies (or pressure groups) that is produced by the Commission or European Parliament. According to CONECCS (Consultation, the European Community and  Civil Society) over 1,000 interests groups are active. Yet over 10,000 (perhaps up to 20,000) people are believed to be engaged in "interest representation," the majority being business groups. The Commission sometimes funds these bodies and actively works with them to encourage cultivating loyalties to the European level. Many lobbying firms are hired to monitor developments in a particular EU subject-area, to enable access to decision-makers, arrange meetings, suggest contacts, and assist in advocacy of a case. Click here to view accredited lobbyists to the European Parliament.
  • Lobbyist: A lobbyist is a person, or firm, that advocates a specific policy, measure, or point of view to an elected lawmaker or governmental body. A lobbyist attempts to influence voting on legislation, or the decisions of government administrators. Lobbyists are employed by a particular interest "to lobby" and use many methods to influence their targets. A lobbyist is sometimes called a lobbyer. The people involved in "lobbying" activities depends on the definition of lobbying that is used, and whether the definition includes indirect lobbying activities and targeting the public. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of  lobbying they conduct.  Professional lobbyists are paid to actively pursue the interests of the group they are working on behalf of (for example the Turkish government has regularly hired lobbyists, most recently the Livingston Group in Washington D.C., to supplement the official embassy representation. This lobbying firm is headed by a former Republican Congressman from Louisiana, Bob Livingston. The Livingston Group in 2002 merged with The Solomon Group). According to some estimates, there are between 15,000-40,000 active lobbyists working in Washington at every level of government.


In the U.S., lobbying is an activity protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees against interference with freedom of speech and the right to petition the government: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Lobbying is viewed as a necessary part of the U.S. democratic political process. Many believe that the more lobbying groups there are, the better the representation of a wide range of interests. It is also believed that lobbying ensures that the government is responsive to public concerns not just at election time, but also between elections. Therefore, the increasing number of lobbies is positive, and a sign of the further democratization of American politics. However, the critics of the proliferation of interest groups argue that lobbies pose a strong threat to democratic values. It can be argued that interest groups have lost sight of the public good, and that they may be a threat to democracy.

The term "lobbyist" came into usage in the 19th century, and was first used in Britain. There are different stories about its origin, but several versions describe how individuals spent hours waiting for lawmakers in areas known as a "lobby." Lobbies have been part of American history ever since Benjamin Franklin appealed to the British parliament to remove a tax on stamps in 1757. Thus, even before America became a nation, the Pennsylvania colonial assembly sent Franklin to England to lobby legislators not to pass the Stamp Act (a tax for official seals on newspapers and legal documents that colonists would have to pay). In some countries there has not been a well-established tradition of lobbying, and there is no single word for lobbying. The French commonly refer to a lobby as a "groupe de pression" or "groupe d'intérêt," while Turks have adopted the English word lobby. The profession of lobbying is not well understood in many parts of the world, and there are efforts being made, particularly in the U.S. to promote the legitimate profession of lobbying and the activities of lobbyists. Lobbying often raises suspicions because of the perceived manipulation of government officials and the potential for abuse, bribery, corruption, and conflicts of interest. The negative image the pubic has of lobbies has been reinforced by scandals and stories of political favors. No party, or country seems to be immune to individuals or groups who seek to manipulate public officials, and the perception that elections are unfair is common across the globe. As campaign finance scandals erupt in different affluent and stable democracies throughout the world, global political and economic trends are causing voters to lose confidence in their political systems. Helmut Kohl, Ehud Barak, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and Boris Yeltsin are just some of the names involved in alleged and proven scandals. However, despite the fact that scandals frequently make headline news, it does not mean that lobbyists do not follow the rules. The vast majority of lobbyists have good knowledge of what they can, or cannot do (the American League of Lobbyists is one example of a non-profit group that works to explain lobbying regulations and the profession in a more positive light).

Lobbies are often made up of full-time paid professionals, but there are also volunteer independent lobbyists, such as individuals who act as lobbyists and lobby members of Congress (this site refers to them as citizen lobbyists). Any citizen of the U.S. can lobby members from a specific district, and in this manner assist Washington-based professional lobbies. Ordinary citizens often plan "Lobby Days" on Capitol Hill when they organize large groups to travel to Washington from around the country. These days are usually planned around an organization's annual conference. This type of "grassroots" lobbying does not have to be registered. Such events also help Washington lobbyists develop a grassroots network. In addition to converging on the Capitol, the members of these groups tend to meet in smaller groups with members from their congressional district, or state delegation, to press the cause of their lobby.

The proliferation of lobbying and consulting firms demonstrates the increasing professionalism of electoral politics, and of the lobbying industry. Registered lobbyists, now numbering more than 20,000 in Washington, have been strengthened by technological developments, such as computers and the Internet. According to some reliable estimates, there are as many as 80,000 professional lobby agents working in Washington at every level of government., many of whom are not registered and prefer to call themselves "legislative consultants." Since the late 1980's, powerful full-service lobbying companies, known as "mega-lobbying firms," have also emerged on the lobbying scene. Some of the well-known names are Arnold and Porter's Apco Associates, and Hill and Knowlton. These full-service lobbying companies often charge millions of dollars, in contrast to firms which provide a smaller range of services. It is often the case with big companies that political insiders, or celebrity consultants, introduce the client to the firm, but the lobbying efforts are undertaken by lesser-known employees. In some cases, smaller lobbying firms might be preferred because they are better suited for furthering certain objectives. Many clients believe that their interests and aims can be better understood and implemented by a smaller firm, and more personalized service. Another controversial issue arises from the fact that these profit-making firms often do not have a base, or interest, in the constituency of the lawmaker.

Retiring members of Congress, and staff members, often become the most sought after lobbyists and consultants due to their fresh connections, insider knowledge, networks of associates, and their understanding of legislative strategy. Some of their activities are referred to as "insider lobbying," because of their connections to elected and appointed officials. Under a 1995 law, these individuals face limited restrictions on lobbying former colleagues (i.e. former Congressmen and administration officials are not allowed to directly lobby colleagues for one year after leaving office). Another advantage these sought after lobbyists have is that former members of Congress are allowed on the Senate and House floors. Some critics charge that these individuals exploit their period of public service in order to earn large sums of money. They also charge that these potential lobbyists may be attempted to appease corporate interests while they are in power so as to ensure that they are offered good positions (calling this "deferred bribery"). These and other issues are a source of debate on whether the political process and democracy are being corrupted.

Lawmakers can exercise their own policy judgment, or defer to the preferences of constituents, while being influenced by grassroots mobilization, face-to-face meetings, lobbying campaigns, public relations activities, and advertising.

Different lobbies lobby on behalf of corporate interests, heath care, tax policy, foreign policy, oil and gas, defense, abortion, gun control, lawyers, pharmaceutical interests, insurance, realtors, manufacturers, farmers, veterans, Cuban-exiles, environmental watch groups, unions, women's rights, gay rights, ideological issues, the handicapped, historic preservation, elderly persons, food safety... and on almost every conceivable issue (links to some organizations are below). The executive branch itself lobbies members of Congress for support, as do state and local governments, either individually or through the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Council of State Governments, or other umbrella organizations.

Lobbying basically involves preparation, information, and communication. The various services offered by lobbyists include: contacting officials, legal knowledge, research and advice, issues and legislation monitoring, economic and political consulting, grassroots lobbying, coalition building, public relations, media strategies, advertising, fund-raising, event planning, developing indirect lobbying strategies, polling, direct mail, hiring experts such as lawyer-lobbyist specialists, and training staff with communications and technical skills.

Many ethnic lobbies focus on monitoring the activities of competing lobbies, educating government officials, daily analysis of legislation, gathering information about the previous positions taken by officials, attending congressional or regulatory hearings, working with coalitions interested in the same issues, and gathering relevant information quickly so as to effectively communicate developments. In addition to the education of government officials, educating other key individuals, opinion leaders, business circles, and the general public is also a priority. The separated and fragmented system of government in the U.S. offers different access points to ethnic lobbies, from school boards, city councils, legislative assemblies, executive departments and agencies, to state and federal courts.

Lobbying can therefore be seen as educating. Lawmakers often rely on lobbyists for up-to-date and detailed information in specific areas. It is in the public's interest that the information provided will enable informed decision-makers to make the best decision. But, there are many ongoing debates about how certain misleading lobbying activities may have caused damage to the public (such as by the tobacco industry). It is increasingly being emphasized that it is in the public's interest to monitor whether public officials are making fair and informed decisions, and whether they are taking into consideration the views and information presented from a broad range of groups. Without ensuring that all aspects of an issue are debated, good government policies can not be formulated. A worrying situation in the U.S. (especially due to the controversy over the reasons the U.S. went to war in Iraq) concerns the issue of how badly informed, or misleadingly informed, officials affect policy-making. In addition, because of the increase in the flow of information, legislators and their staff have difficulty in being informed in a fair manner concerning all sides to an issue. Furthermore, the issues before Congress are increasingly complex and varied. Since lawmakers cannot be an expert on every topic, there is growing concern that they can be misinformed and badly educated by lobbies. Although policymakers and legislators require credible information, their dependence on lobbies, who may or may not provide a fair and balanced view, can threaten the fundamental principles of democracy.

In many cases, the material and information that is presented to lawmakers by anti-Turkish lobbies is not verified, although the interests of the American people should require all information be subject to verification. European parliamentarians are faced with the same problem of a lack of verification. It is also difficult to ensure that decision-makers have information from a variety of objective and unbiased sources. Furthermore, investigations are not regularly conducted to determine if deliberate attempts have been made to mislead lawmakers. The media has an important role to play here as an invaluable check on the power of lobbies, since revelations can easily damage the image of a pressure group in the eyes of politicians or the public. In order to protect the public interest, no ethnic group or lobby should be allowed to misrepresent the facts with impunity. Investigations could discourage the use of disinformation, and the media could reveal strategies that may be employed at the local, state, and federal levels. The lack of public interest, lack of media attention, and lack of public inquiries allows decision-makers to be unaccountable, knowingly or unknowingly, and remain open to manipulation by inaccurate information and propaganda. In the eyes of the Turkish lobby and Turkey, members of the U.S. Congress and European parliamentarians appear tolerant to disinformation. A greater number of inquires would not only lead to better policy-making, but also to legislation as a result of recommendations.

Lobbying strategies include proactive and counteractive strategies. Under a proactive strategy, a group presents information in an effort to change a lawmaker's policy position. Under a counteractive strategy, a lobby presents information in an effort to prevent an opposing group from changing the lawmaker's position. When a group selects a strategy, it must anticipate what opposing groups will do. Strategies can focus on the accuracy of the information presented by one side, and whether there is evidence of the misrepresentation of facts. A good strategy by a lobby should be able to uncover and launch an investigation of any deliberate misrepresentation, misleading claims, or unfounded allegations. Encouraging the public to demand to know the sources of misleading information is in the interests of a healthy democracy. The use of such strategies would reveal unreliable lobbies, and discourage lobbyists from misrepresenting the facts because they would be under greater scrutiny. Legislators who fail to verify information would also be known. Negative publicity would also be generated by the media regarding the lobbying group and lawmakers who may have been deceived.

In Congress there are dozens of "congressional caucuses" that represent interests, such as the powerful Greek caucus, Armenian caucus, black caucus, or Hispanic caucus. These are informal issues groups, usually devoted to ethnic issues, which try to promote a particular policy or interest. The Turkish caucus is quite new and only emerged after 2001.

Lobbying also seems to determine which candidates win and lose. Numerous studies document the success on election day, with the success in fund-raising. Studies also reveal that most campaign money comes in the form of large checks from an extremely small, wealthy percentage of the population. This is one of the reasons public interest groups and average citizens are concerned about what they view is an alliance between lobbyists and lawmakers. The changes brought about after 1971, for nominating and funding candidates, have resulted in more expensive and lengthy campaigns, and have raised ethical questions over whether legislators are beholden to special interests.

If lobbies have such a great impact on the decision-making process and on public policy, critics point out that some groups are better represented than others, and so policy unduly favors the organized (which are usually the business, ethnic, labor, and professional groups). Does the meaning of "Write to your representative" still have the same empowering purpose as it did before the emergence of powerful lobbies? Is it a government "by the people and for the people" if everybody is organized but the people? Such questions have led to increased studies on lobbying as well as the study of group power.

A recent international development is the new wealth around the globe which in some cases has facilitated buying influence, and has become a force for local and global corruption, while national mechanisms for regulating lobbying fail or do not exist. Shady campaign finance is also facilitating ways for criminal elements to influence government policy.  According to one observer, "A dangerous and costly symbiosis has emerged in the last 10 years, to the detriment of democracy and effective government. The end of the Cold War and the economic liberalization that followed created a new tycoon class with cash to burn and a million good reasons to get governments in their pockets" (Campaign Finance Goes Global, by Jane Bussey, Foreign Policy, Spring 2000). With the unfolding of each scandal, the public's belief in the power of the individual vote, and faith in the fairness of democracy erodes. If the plague of scandals goes unchecked, and results in increasing public indifference, the credibility of democracies will be damaged.

In a multicultural America, ethnic lobbies in particular are more conscious of their rights and their freedom to express themselves. But can the encouragement of the growth of so many lobbies create a more divided and less united America? Can self-interests supplant national and community interests? What are the obligations to the public? Some have asked whether the U.S. has entered into an "age of minorities" or even more dangerous, a "tyranny of minorities."  And can the excessive power of corporations work against the public interest? Is the money pouring in from lobbies undermining the soul of democracy? It therefore appears that as long as interest group lobbying continues to be such a controversial activity, there will be groups which lobby against it.

In the case of lobbying in America, the far-sighted Framers of the Constitution sought to prevent groups from tyrannizing others. They therefore constructed a political system that utilized a series of checks and balances. Some current political observers might however argue that the Framers would not be so happy to see the powerful web of relations and tools of policy influence at work in Washington, D.C. Yet, it is generally believed that although the interest group system is far from perfect, it allows a diversity of views to be expressed and protects some of America's most fundamental values--the rights of individuals to liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. Lobbies are therefore valued for their contributions to American democracy because they facilitate political representation and participation. It is also believed that the various interests that are expressed enable groups to cooperate, respect each other's rights and liberties, and pursue common goals.

BRIEF HISTORY OF LOBBYING REGULATIONS & LEGISLATION IN THE U.S.

The first attempts to regulate lobbying took place in 1876, when the House of Representatives passed a law requiring lobbyists to identify themselves. In 1926, bribes of legislators by lobbyists were so flagrant, Congress passed the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, which required disclosure of campaign contributions, the amount, by whom contributed, and how it was spent (but there were thousands of violations and the Act was not enforced). In 1938, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) required lobbyists working for foreign governments to register with the Department of Justice. Until the 1946 Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act, lobbyists remained unregulated in any significant way. The 1946 measure required lobbyists to register and file financial reports. But lobbying activities were not restricted, many organizations were able to evade registering, or were exempted from the requirement.

"Campaign finance reform" refers to the changes that American political campaigns have undergone, or are undergoing due to campaign finance laws which seek to prevent candidates from becoming obligated to special interests. Although tighter disclosure laws came into force with the reforms of the 1970's, regulation of campaign finance is still being debating in America. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, along with numerous amendments, set new contribution and spending limits, made provisions for government and public funding of presidential campaigns, and required reports of contributions and expenditures to be filed with the Federal Election Commission. As a result, the public can now keep better track of who is giving how much to which candidate, but many groups bypass regulations.

  • 1971 Federal Election Campaign Acts (FECA): Laws that restricted campaign financing and regulated contributions and spending, as well as other requirements for lobbyists. Although efforts at regulation were made earlier, recent campaign finance reform in the U.S. began with the landmark legislation that was passed in 1971, known as the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which replaced the older Federal Corrupt Practices Act (an example of earlier efforts at regulation). The new law established detailed spending limits and required fuller disclosure of political funding, as well as set limits on money that could be spent on media, including radio, television, and print advertising. Numerous amendments (Acts) have been made since 1974.

  • 1974 Federal Election Commission (FEC): The FEC was established to administer the law. FEC is responsible for enforcing campaign finance rules and administering election laws and public financing program for the public interest. The FEC was established by the FECA Amendments of 1974, as part of the campaign finance reforms of the era. PAC's and candidates for Congress and the White House were affected by new requirements to disclose the use of funds. Amidst the changes, Amendments also revised the law related to political contribution from individuals from abroad. Foreign nationals and people working under a federal government contract cannot give contributions to federal candidates (except foreign nationals who have a green card). In addition, foreign nationals can not give money to support local or state campaigns. After 1974, any individual who is not a U.S. citizen and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence is prohibited from contributing (as defined in the Foreign Agents Registration Act). Almost all countries restrict or ban contributions from foreign sources. Foreign commercial interests that meet all the criteria under the Lobbying Disclosure Act must register with the House or the Senate.

  • 1976 Laws were further amended and strengthened.

  • Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1994: This law increased the disclosure requirements for lobbyists. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending who they lobby. The disclosure also makes public the areas in which a lobbyist works for a client, who the client is, and how much the lobbyist is paid for his work. The records kept by the House clerk and Senate secretary are available to the public online through the Internet. Lobbyists are required to register under the law if: 1) they receive more than $5,000 from a client for lobbying over a six-month period; 2) they have frequent contacts with congressional staff, members, or executive branch officials; 3) and more than 20% of their time working for a client involves lobbying. Any group that has its own lobbyists in-house must register once expenses on lobbying exceed $20,500 in six months. Lobbyists who represent the interests of foreign countries on Capitol Hill, or with the executive branch, are also subject to disclosure regulations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

  • In 1995, due to public pressure and concern about the role of special interests, Congress passed tougher lobbying registration and disclosure legislation.



There are many specific rules and restrictions lobbyists must comply with, such as gift and travel rules. These and other rules define the types of acceptable relationships that can exist between recipients and donors, although these lines are often blurred. For example, there is a $50 value limit on gifts, including meals and entertainment, that congressional members and staff can accept, and a total of $100 from any one source in a year. There are rules in other areas such as transportation, for instance if a member of Congress accepts a travel payment by a firm or lobbyist, some official business must be associated with the trip. However, because private organizations are not bound to many legal restrictions, critics see this as an ethics loophole. Therefore, there are still calls for better regulation and debates on how political money is raised, handled, and spent.

 


Appendix I

European Commission reacts to new Russian NGO law

BRUSSELS—The European Commission (EC) has officially voiced its concerns over the stringent new NGO law passed by the Russian government in January to Ella Pamfilova, chair of Russian President Putin’s Presidential Council of the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights.

Claire Chevallier, 2006-03-23 11:29

The EC response came in early March at the behest of Bellona friends and Members of European Parliament (MEP), Bart Staes and Satu Hassi of the Greens, who formally put the question to the EC during the European Parliament’s (EP) plenary sitting in Strasbourg on January 18th 2006—a day after the Russian NGO law was passed. Staes is former chairman and a current member of the EP’s Joint Parliamentary Committee with the Russian State Duma.

The importance of the EP directing a question to the EC is twofold. First, it allows the EP to put pressure on the Commission to act on what the EP considers priority items. Second, it forces the EC to make a binding statement and commits it to the statements that it makes. The EC’s reply to Staes and Hassi therefore allows the EC to bring political force to bear on the situation regarding the NGO law in Russia.

The NGO law
The Russian NGO law imposes a new and stricter regime for the several hundred thousand NGOs operating in Russia. In the name of protecting Russian national interests and security, the law allows for investigations into the NGOs’ political leanings, sources of funding, and overall adherence to Russian national policy.

It also imposes a scouring audit process on foreign funding received by NGOs and restricts their ability to have foreigners working in their offices.

The law also contains very restrictive, and in many places, vague language that enables the authorities to make arbitrary decisions. Late last year, before the law’s passage, Bellona approached key MEPs and articulated their concerns over Russia’s proposed law on NGOs and urged them to take action.

Restrictions on funding and employment
MEPs Staes and Hassi therefore asked the EC whether “in view of the estimations that the new registration regime will make it difficult for the NGOs to receive foreign donations, has the Commission evaluated the impact of the new law on the NGOs’ ability to receive EU funding aimed at projects in third countries.”

The EC, like the EU as a whole, expressed its concerns to Pamfilova, in particular on the impacts on NGOs in Russia financed by the EU’s humanitarian aid programme (ECHO). In addition, External Relations Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner spoke of the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in early December last year.

EU statement
In a broader statement concerning the enactment of the Russian law on NGOs, the EU presidency “made clear to the Russian Federation its concerns over the possible effects of the draft law on NGOs. It has also underlined the great importance the EU attaches to freedom of expression and association, which are of fundamental importance for a democratic society.”

The EU reiterated “its strong support for the legitimate and peaceful activities of civil society. It is in Russia’s interests that civil society should be allowed to develop freely.”

In addition, while it welcomed the changes made to the draft law before its second and final reading, the EU nonetheless “remains concerned that the law as it has been adopted could have a serious impact on the legitimate activity of civil society organisations in Russia”.

Finally, the EU has pledged to pay close attention to how the law is implemented.

EP active on the issue
This is not the first time the EP takes action on this specific issue. Indeed, in early December of last year, MEP Staes organised a press conference with chess champion turned political commentator Gary Kasparov, who bore shocking witness to recent political and electoral difficulties in Russia.

Kasparov spoke to the European press about electoral fraud and lack of political freedom during the latest round of Russian presidential and Moscow City Council elections, the Chechen and Northern Caucasus conflicts, and the newly proposed bill on reigning in NGO. Kasparov has earlier said that he will support any political party opposing Putin in the Duma and Putin’s possible third term in office.

Enforcement of new NGO law vital issue for justice ministry
Interfax Russia, Russia - Mar 17, 2006

MOSCOW. March 17 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that "one of the vital issues facing the Russian Justice Ministry is the enforcement of the new law on non-governmental organizations."

"The Russian Justice Ministry should assist in the development and adoption of a number of by-laws that will regulate the creation and registration of NGOs, including foreign ones," the president said at an extended meeting at the Justice Ministry on Friday.

This work must be guided by "constitutional provisions on the rights and freedom of an individual and citizen," Putin said. "They define the content and application of the laws and the activities of the legislative branch and local authorities," Putin said.




Appendix II : Basics of Lobbying

The practice of lobbying has come under renewed scrutiny in light of the federal investigation into possible corruption on Capitol Hill. The involvement of former high-power lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the probe has raised questions about what constitutes legal and illegal lobbying.

Lobbying, or seeking to influence the passage or defeat of legislation, is not only legal, it is protected by the Constitution under the first amendment which guarantees the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Writing a letter to a representative, signing a petition and speaking at a town hall forum are examples of lobbying in its most basic form. By lobbying, constituents tell lawmakers how proposed legislation or regulations will affect their community or business.

However, as government has grown and become more complex, so has lobbying.

Professional lobbying can come at the federal or state level. At the state level, lobbying is more concentrated during certain times of year. Most state legislatures -- except for in larger states such as New York or California -- only meet for a few months out of the year. The rest of the year, state representatives live and work in their communities and are accessible and close to the issues that affect their constituents.

At the federal level, lawmakers spend more time in Washington, D.C., deal with larger national issues that they may or may not be intimately familiar with, and often the stakes are higher. A single federal regulation can cost an industry millions of dollars. In recent years, companies, interest groups and unions have increased their lobbying budgets, and lobbyist consultancy has become a booming industry. So many lobbyists have opened offices on K Street near the Capitol that the address has become synonymous with the industry.

Lobbyists are often lawyers, former legislators or legislative staffers, hired either by an organization to forward their interests or as a consultant for multiple clients.

Although lobbying is constitutionally protected, it is subject to legal restrictions and registration requirements. There are different rules for different types of lobbyists. State lobbyists must adhere to different rules than federal lobbyists, and Congress treats lobbying by businesses differently than lobbying by tax-exempt charities.

Except for nonpartisan educational activities, charities are limited in the amount of lobbying they can do. Corporate interests, on the other hand, can lobby as much as they want, but they have a different set of accounting rules for their lobbying activities, as opposed to their other corporate activities.

Lobbyists contend they provide a valuable service not only to their clients, but to legislators by educating them about complex or industry-specific issues. For example, telecommunication lobbyists can keep lawmakers up to date on the latest technology innovations and changes in the rapidly growing industry. Or lobbyists can arrange fact-finding trips to plants or research facilities for lawmaker to better understand an industry.

It is not uncommon for lobbyists to draft language for legislation and give it to lawmakers or their staff for consideration. It also is a common practice for lawmakers to distribute proposed legislation to lobbyists of the affected industries or interest groups for their input. Another way lawmakers obtain information is to invite lobbyists to testify before committee meetings.

Trade groups, associations and special interest groups hire a staff of lobbyists to promote their interests. But many lobbyists work as consultants and hire their services out to clients. Their client list can include everything from a business to a foreign country. The value these lobbyists provide is access. To make their pitch, lobbyists often meet directly with legislators by going to their offices or by inviting them to discuss the issue at a restaurant, sports event or conference.

Most of the concerns about corruption, including those raised by the current Justice Department investigation involving Abramoff, stem from the areas where money and lobbying overlap, such as meals, trips and fund-raisers.

Federal lobbyists are subject to rules that limit the amount of gifts to lawmakers or the costs of meals to $50. But a lobbyist can get around the monetary limit by arranging for a company to offer a lawmaker a ride on its corporate jet, for example. In this case, the lobbyist does not pay for the trip, the company does. And although many congressional trips have serious purposes, a lobbyist also might arrange for a nonprofit group to pay for a lawmaker to go to a golf resort. As long as the lobbyist does not pay for the trip, it does not technically fall under the ban.

Campaign finance laws limit the amount of money lobbyists, corporations and individuals can give a candidate. However, rules for political fundraising are less strict. So even though there are limits on individual gifts, a lobbyist can organize an event that raises money from attendees and bundle the smaller contributions.

Lobbyists who were once legislators or staff members are highly valued for their connections and their access to areas unavailable to most. Former members of Congress retain access to members-only facilities such as the dining room, gym and chamber floors.

And lobbyists can pursue indirect forms of lobbying, such as meeting with reporters to explain their side of an issue or by purchasing advertisements.

-- By Anne Bell, Online NewsHour

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/law/corruption/lobbying.html




Appendix III : LOBBYING REFORM UPDATE: ETHICS REFORM

Senate Begins Consideration of Lobby Reform

By Thomas Ferraro Mon Mar 6, 2006 www.reuters.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate began consideration of legislation on Monday that would require lobbyists to disclose more about their activities and ban gifts by lobbyists to members of Congress and staff.

The measure, which has strong bipartisan support in the wake of scandals that rocked the Republican-led Congress, would also impose stiff fines for violation of lobbying curbs.

The Senate hopes to complete action after voting on a long list of possible amendments later this week. They include one that would deny congressional pensions to lawmakers convicted of accepting bribes.

That proposal was inspired largely by the case of former Republican U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California, who was sentenced last week to eight years and four months in jail for accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors.

Ethics reform became a top priority after lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in January in a wide-ranging public corruption case. He is now cooperating with prosecutors and the probe may reach a number of lawmakers.

Members on both sides of the political aisle have demanded reform, saying lawmakers need to clean up Congress and reverse polls that show declining confidence in political leaders.

But some Democrats have blamed much of the recent ethical woes on a Republican "culture of corruption," and hope to use it to gain advantage in the November congressional elections.

"America deserves a government as good as its people," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said, "The American people expect us to work together to develop meaningful bipartisan solutions."

"We are obligated to protect the integrity of this great institution, and, most importantly, to represent the genuine interests of the voters who sent us here," Frist said.

The legislation before the Senate is the product of bills produced last week on bipartisan votes by two committees.

The Republican-led House of Representatives is expected to produce legislation of its own in coming weeks.
A Start on Lobbying Reform

Monday, March 6, 2006; A14 www.washingtonpost.com

THIS WEEK the Senate plans to take up lobbying reform, melding two measures that would be an improvement on the current system of inadequate disclosure and lax rules. But the measures that emerged from two Senate committees last week don't go nearly far enough to fix the abuses that got the attention of the public -- and therefore lawmakers -- in the first place. The floor debate will feature a package of critical amendments on strengthening enforcement, cracking down on the cut-rate use of corporate aircraft, and imposing limits on gifts and travel -- in all, giving senators a chance to produce a truly significant lobbying reform measure for the House to act on.

Especially in the area of disclosure, the proposals from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Rules Committee would be a significant, though far from perfect, advance over the status quo. The governmental affairs measure would require lobbying firms to report what they spend on the fast-growing area of grass-roots lobbying -- that is, ginning up citizens to contact lawmakers -- which has previously been exempted by disclosure rules.

Disclosure would be more frequent and more detailed, including, for example, more details about travel itineraries and participants; reporting of lobbyists' contributions to lawmakers' charities or events honoring them; and gifts from lobbyists. Still, there are serious omissions, particularly the failure to require lobbyists to provide information about what congressional or executive branch offices they lobbied.

And disclosure alone isn't adequate. The measures would allow lawmakers to continue to fly the corporate skies, using company aircraft with on-board lobbyists while paying far less than the true cost of such flights; this should be prohibited, not just disclosed. Similarly, neither measure does enough to clamp down on travel funded by companies or other entities with interests before Congress. The governmental affairs bill would still permit lawmakers to accept gifts from lobbyists such as tickets to sporting events; there's no excuse for letting elected officials accept such freebies.

The biggest disappointment is the failure of a majority on the governmental affairs committee to support the call by the chairman and the ranking Democrat, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), to create a stronger enforcement mechanism to police abuses by both lawmakers and lobbyists. The pair wanted a new Office of Public Integrity, which would review documents, accept outside complaints, refer matters to the Justice Department, conduct investigations and make recommendations to the House and Senate ethics committees. The ultimate decision about whether rules had been violated and whether punishment should be imposed would remain up to the ethics committees. That's as it should be.

But it's no attack on the dedication or integrity of lawmakers with the misfortune to serve on the ethics committees to say that the current system inevitably tends toward complacency and partisan gridlock. When the issue comes up again on the Senate floor, senators should remember: Real lobbying reform requires changes not just in the rules but in making certain they are enforced.

Lobbyists have rights too
By Boston Herald editorial staff
Sunday, March 5, 2006

Washington lobbyists are in such bad odor these days that one senator even wants to put a curse on them, restricting their legislative activities, if they should - in their next life - get themselves elected to the Senate.

The Senate Rules Committee refused to take up the proposal, but the idea is so bad it’s bound to come up again in that spawning ground of terrible ideas called the U.S. Senate - especially in an age when lobbyists are blamed for everything down to hangnails.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is a former member of the House who was a lobbyist for a small railroad in South Dakota before that. After Thune was elected to the Senate in 2004, he continued to try to help the railroad (which says it no longer pays him), and succeeded in winning a provision that raised the amount that the Federal Railroad Administration could lend from $3.5 billion to $35 billion, with $7 billion set aside for small railroads. That permitted the one-time lobbying client, the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad, to apply for a $2.5 billion loan for a major expansion, which is now pending at the FRA.

‘‘It’s the most despicable special-interest deal I’ve ever seen in all my 30 years in government,” said Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.). He proposed that lobbyists who become senators be barred for two years from working ‘‘personally and substantially” on matters involving former clients.

Dayton is over the top. Paying a member to work on your issue is bribery and already a crime. But as long as the lobbyist’s work is generally known to the voters, how can the Senate or the House forbid a member from working on anything he or she wants? In effect, that’s depriving constituents of representation.

A loan to the DM&E is a bad deal on different grounds: If a new rail line is really needed, it should make money and investment banks should be happy to help finance it.

And, of course, all of this silliness just skirts the real issue - those special-interest earmarks in congressional budgeting. Hey, can’t go there!
Lobbyist turf wars can steal attention from policy issues

Florida legislators open their annual session Tuesday with an election-year agenda packed with special- interest bills that could be overshadowed by hurricane recovery.
BY MARY ELLEN KLAS
Posted on Sun, Mar. 05, 2006 meklas@MiamiHerald.com

TALLAHASSEE - When Florida lawmakers begin their annual session Tuesday, they will tackle an election-year agenda loaded with important topics -- many of them important mostly to the most powerful lobbies in Florida.

A sampling:

• They will wade into a feud between the National Rifle Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce over the gun lobby's bill to allow employees to leave guns in their cars at work.

• They will fast-track a bill that is the priority of the business lobby -- and fiercely opposed by trial lawyers -- to repeal the legal doctrine that sometimes forces deep-pocketed companies to pay the bulk of damages even if their share of the blame is minor.

• And they'll pit wine shippers against distributors as they write rules for Internet wine sales.

''They spend a lot of time resolving turf wars between interest groups,'' observed Jason Watson, 24, a Florida State University law student and one of several college students on a nine-month stint as a legislative intern. ``There's not a lot that affects my life.''

Watson and other graduates made their observations last month to Miami Rep. Marco Rubio, designated to be the House leader next year.

Rubio agrees. ''Too often, interest groups have more power to control the agenda than they should have,'' he said.

Other legislative leaders dispute the view.

''Turf wars have gone on for 25 years and will probably go on for eternity,'' said House Speaker Allan Bense. ``While they may generate a lot of conversation, from a public policy perspective I don't spend a lot of time on them.''

TYPICAL AGENDA

Bense and Senate President Tom Lee described the agenda this session as typical for an election year, when lawmakers, eager to make time for issues designed to help their reelection campaigns, traditionally shy away from hard-to-settle policy wars in favor of interest-group disputes.

Lee conceded that while he will work to ``remain focused on policy, . . . this is a political process, so I would be shocked if there weren't political overtones to our policy considerations.''

Lee, who is seeking the Republican nomination for state chief financial officer, is one of several candidates for higher office serving in the Legislature this year.

State Rep. Randy Johnson of Celebration is Lee's opponent in the Republican primary.

GOVERNOR'S RACES

With Gov. Jeb Bush leaving office, an intense gubernatorial battle threatens to wind its way into much of the session.

The Republican candidates, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher and Attorney General Charlie Crist, are both former legislators and know how to use the process.

Meanwhile, another legislator, state Sen. Rod Smith of Gainesville, is seeking the Democratic Party nomination, squaring off against U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa.

The legislative lineup in the GOP-dominated House and Senate includes proposals to approve the largest round of tax cuts yet -- $1.5 billion. The lawmakers will also take up a proposed constitutional amendment to restore school vouchers, a topic designed to draw conservative Republicans to the polls in November.

But the most challenging issues before lawmakers are the ones thrust onto their agenda by last year's hurricanes and the state's red-hot real-estate market.

Lee and Bense have made repairing the state's property-insurance market a priority after eight storms in two years drove many insurers out of Florida and nearly bankrupted the state-run insurance pool.

Both have asked their committees to find ways to persuade private companies to write new policies again and to figure out what to do about the deficit-ridden state-run insurer, Citizens Property Insurance.

''We're going to address it, whether it's an election year or not,'' said Bense, a Panama City Republican.

He acknowledged that solutions will be difficult to achieve because of the competing interests across the state.

''I'm conflicted,'' said Bense, a road builder and developer. ``I hear from a constituent who lives on the coast that his premiums are going up 100 percent, and then I get an e-mail from someone in the center of the state complaining about the 6.8 percent assessment he has to pay to cover folks that are building those crazy homes on the coast. Both have good points.''

The governor has asked lawmakers to put more money into hurricane preparation, including strengthening special-needs shelters and enhancing emergency-response plans.

UTILITY RATES

Among the decisions to be made: whether to require utilities like Florida Power & Light to shoulder the cost of hurricane recovery -- or allow them to pass the pain on to consumers, in the form of higher rates.

Rising real-estate prices have forced so many middle-income workers out of the housing market that legislators may reverse themselves and stop raiding the state account that helps pay for affordable workforce housing. Lawmakers will also consider ways to make it easier for developers to build low-cost housing in expensive areas of the state.

SALES-TAX RELIEF

The real-estate market has helped fuel an unprecedented $6 billion in surplus revenue, leading to several spend-happy proposals from lawmakers.

The House, for example, wants to declare a weeklong sales-tax holiday on all purchases valued at up to $5,000. The governor prefers the Democrats' proposal for a weeklong sales-tax holiday specifically for hurricane-related purchases and for a $100 tax rebate to homeowners.

In the midst of the debate will be the perpetual struggle between legislators and lobbyists over the price of access to power.

Lawmakers passed landmark legislation in December banning gifts and meals from lobbyists. Last month, lobbyists challenged the ban in court.

Now, Bense and Lee are watching as legislators turn to more than three dozen political campaign accounts, known as 527s, to pay for the meals and entertainment that lobbyists used to cover.

The irony: Lobbyists can steer unlimited amounts of campaign cash into those accounts. The only catch is that legislators must now publicly report them.

Bense has asked the House ethics committee to look into whether the state should increase the timing and detail of the reporting requirements.

Lee, who initiated the lobbyist reforms debate last year, is satisfied that the requirements in place are enough, but says that the new shift -- legislators using their political accounts for ''lifestyle enhancement'' -- serves to expose a problem he will monitor.

''We all pretty much expected this would happen,'' he said. ``It sends two messages: Look how much it is going on, or look at how much it must have been going on last year.''

 

Ethics Office For Hill Rejected

Bipartisan Defeat For Independent Lobbying Overseer

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 3, 2006; A01

A Senate committee yesterday rejected a bipartisan proposal to establish an independent office to oversee the enforcement of congressional ethics and lobbying laws, signaling a reluctance in Congress to beef up the enforcement of its rules on lobbying.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted 11 to 5 to defeat a proposal by its chairman, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and its ranking Democrat, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), that would have created an office of public integrity to toughen enforcement and combat the loss of reputation Congress has suffered after the guilty plea in January of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Democrats joined Republicans in killing the measure.

The vote was described by government watchdog groups and several lawmakers as the latest example of Congress's waning interest in stringent lobbying reform. After starting the year with bold talk about banning privately paid meals and travel, lawmakers are moving toward producing a bill that would ban few of their activities and would rely mostly on stepped-up disclosure and reporting requirements as their lobbying changes.

"Lobbying reform is going more the enforcement route," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "What's that going to do? Nothing much."

Yesterday, the governmental affairs panel spent most of its three-hour drafting session debating the Collins-Lieberman proposal. Collins argued that by hiring professionals to oversee lobbying reports and the investigation of ethics complaints, Congress would improve its credibility by ending the appearance of conflict-of-interest created by the self-policing of its ethics committees.

"The current system of reviewing lobbyists' public reports is a joke," she added.

But Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), chairman of the Senate's Select Committee on Ethics and a member of Collins's panel, said the ethics panel does not need any help because it is already doing a thorough job of enforcing the chamber's rules. Speaking of the audits and investigations that the office of public integrity would undertake, Voinovich said: "The ethics committee is already doing those things."

With the backing of current and past ethics panel members in attendance, Voinovich proposed, and the governmental affairs committee adopted, an amendment that would strike the new office from the committee's bill while requiring more openness in the now secretive ethics panel. An annual report would list the number of alleged rule violations that are reported or otherwise dealt with by the House and Senate ethics committees.

Watchdog groups reacted angrily. "The cutting out of the office of public integrity really undermines this whole effort," said Joan Claybrook, president of the liberal group Public Citizen. Lieberman said he will try to get the integrity office approved next week when lobbying legislation is scheduled for action on the Senate floor. He said that he will be joined by other senators in a variety of efforts to get the lobbying bill back in the direction it was headed at the beginning of the year.

In January, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was joined by leaders of both parties in calling for bans or severe restrictions on gifts, meals and travel provided by private groups. The proposed stiff limitations were the initial reaction to the political scandals involving Abramoff and members of Congress and their staffs.

But as the legislation has evolved and Abramoff has faded from the headlines, calls for bans have grown scarce, and expanded disclosure has become the centerpiece of the efforts underway. Two Senate committees this week have largely left undiminished lawmakers' ability to accept meals and travel, and the House appears headed in the same direction.

"Disclosure, transparency and oversight systems are the tenets we're interested in implementing," said Kevin Madden, spokesman for House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner succeeded Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), who was forced to step down as leader last year after he was indicted in Texas on campaign-money laundering charges.

"We're focusing on more disclosure, transparency," agreed Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which approved its own disclosure bill Tuesday. The measure will be considered by the full Senate next week.

Some of the disclosure proposals are significant. The governmental affairs committee agreed for the first time to require professional grass-roots lobbying firms to report publicly how much they spend to influence government actions. Currently, only people who are paid to directly lobby lawmakers and their staffs must disclose their activities. Grass-roots lobbying is indirect lobbying to try to galvanize voters back home.

The bill would also require lobbyists to file quarterly reports, rather than the current biannual ones, on their activities, as well as a new, annual disclosure that would detail their donations to federal candidates, officeholders and political parties. In addition, lobbyists would have to disclose all the travel they arrange for lawmakers and all the gifts worth more than $20 that they give to them.

Lobbying reports would be filed electronically and would be accessible via the Internet, something that is not always true today.

On Tuesday, the rules committee approved its own set of extra disclosures. Its bill would require that meals accepted by senators and their aides be reported online within 15 days. That bill would also require that senators get approval in advance from the Senate Select Committee on Ethics for any privately financed travel that they accept. The trips and their main details would have to be disclosed rapidly, including the names of the people who come along on private aircraft.

So far, only one outright ban has been approved. The rules committee decided to prohibit lawmakers from accepting gifts other than meals from registered lobbyists and foreign agents. That would include such benefits as tickets to sporting events and the theater. House Republican leaders have not endorsed a similar ban.

Another serious restriction, approved by the governmental affairs committee, would slow what has been called the revolving door between government and the K Street lobbying industry. The provision would double to two years the time during which former lawmakers and former top executive branch officials would be barred from lobbying their ex-colleagues. It would also ban -- for a year after leaving their Capitol Hill jobs -- former senior congressional staffers from lobbying anyone in the chamber in which they had worked. Currently, staff members are prohibited from lobbying only their former offices during their one-year "cooling-off period."

But Lieberman said he wants to do more. He said he will try to curtail corporate-plane travel by forcing lawmakers to pay charter fares for their private airplane trips rather than the first-class rates that are allowed under current law.

This restriction was proposed during a debate in the rules committee earlier in the week but was defeated.


Senate Panel Rejects Ethics Office Plan

WASHINGTON, March 2 — Senators backed away Thursday from expansive lobbying law changes for the second time this week, overwhelmingly voting down a proposal to create an independent office to investigate ethics abuses in Congress.

The plan for a new Office of Public Integrity was rejected, 11 to 5, by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Opponents complained that the office would have duplicated the work of the Senate Ethics Committee and that the plan violated the Constitution, which provides for the House and Senate to set their own rules.

The vote does not mean the idea is dead; backers said they would try to bring it to the full Senate when the chamber takes up lobbying law changes, possibly next week. But the measure's defeat, coupled with strong disagreements among Republican leaders in the House over what form lobbying legislation should take, suggests that the path to changing the way Congress does business will be fraught with obstacles.

The proposal would have created an independent Office of Public Integrity, with a director who had subpoena power. The director, appointed by the Democratic and Republican Congressional leadership, would have had responsibility for investigating ethics charges, though his decisions could have been overruled by a two-thirds vote of the House or Senate ethics committees.

The measure was struck down despite the strong backing of the committee's chairwoman, Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and its senior Democrat, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. Support was so scant during the debate that as the discussion drew to a close, Senator Collins issued a half-joking plea for help.

"If there are any members of the committee who think there's some possibility that Senator Lieberman and I are right," Ms. Collins said, "I would love to hear them speak."

Instead, the panel adopted legislation that would strengthen disclosure rules for lobbyists, requiring them to report their activities more frequently and to do so electronically, in a format that could be easily searched by the news media and the public.

The bill would also double from one to two years the so-called cooling-off period during which lawmakers-turned-lobbyists are prohibited from lobbying their former colleagues. And it would extend that cooling-off period to senior Senate aides, who would be barred during that time from lobbying any senator, not just their former bosses, as is the current practice.

The committee also voted, 10 to 6, to impose new requirements on advocacy groups to report how much they spend lobbying Congress. That provision is aimed at groups like AARP, which spend millions on television advertisements and other campaigns intended to influence Congress but do not have to register as lobbyists.

After the meeting, Senator Collins said she thought the panel had produced "a strong bill," even without the ethics office provision. But government watchdog groups, and some senators, complained that the committee had stripped the meat out of lobbying law changes.

"The bill is crippled without an independent public integrity office because the House and Senate ethics committees cannot operate free of political pressures, and that's what this office can do," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, an advocacy group. Still, she said, the bill did contain "some important public-disclosure" requirements.

On Tuesday, another Senate panel, the Rules Committee, passed its own lobbying legislation but rejected provisions that would have made it more difficult for senators to travel on corporate jets. Instead, the committee passed a provision requiring senators to receive advance clearance for privately financed trips and to disclose all travel on corporate jets.

In the House, which is likely to take up lobbying legislation in the next few weeks, the Republican leaders have been unable to agree on what form the legislation should take. The new majority leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said that the leadership was considering a one-year moratorium on private travel, but that he was not a fan of the idea.

The push toward lobbying law changes has grown out of a scandal involving Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors in a widening investigation. With Congress's approval ratings at the lowest in years, members of both parties are eager to pass legislation before the November elections.

But reaching a consensus will be difficult. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who has been spearheading the bipartisan effort on lobbying law changes, said he would push for the full Senate to adopt the proposal for an independent ethics office. He complained that his colleagues had voted against the plan "because it puts teeth into things."

But opponents of the new office, including the Republican chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, said it would duplicate what that committee is already doing. "There is no need to reinvent the wheel," Mr. Voinovich said.


Congress Ethics Office Rejected
A Senate panel says monitoring by an independent outside agency is unnecessary.

By Mary Curtius and Richard Simon
Times Staff Writers

From the Los Angeles Times March 3, 2006

WASHINGTON — A key Senate committee Thursday rejected a proposal to create a new agency to oversee congressional ethics, dealing a major blow to efforts to give outsiders at least some authority to police lawmakers' conduct.

The plan to set up an independent Office of Public Integrity was derailed by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee — despite its sponsorship by the panel's chairwoman, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and the ranking Democrat, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

The measure's 11-5 defeat underscored the growing resistance on Capitol Hill to overhauls advocated by government watchdog groups and some lawmakers after recent political scandals. Rather than significantly rewrite their rules for conduct, most members of Congress appear to favor more extensive reporting requirements — mostly for lobbyists.

The defeat of the ethics office proposal sparked sharp criticism.

"We are really disappointed," said Mary Boyle, spokeswoman for the citizens' lobbying group Common Cause. "For Congress to produce any kind of credible reform, they need an enforcement mechanism."

The proposal called for an office, independent of the existing House and Senate ethics committees, that could initiate investigations of lawmakers. The office staff was to have been led by a director hired by congressional leaders; its findings would have been turned over to the congressional ethics panels, whose members would then have decided on any penalties.

In Thursday's debate, several senators balked at ceding even limited oversight to an outside agency.

"There is no need to reinvent the wheel," said Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), who led opposition to the proposal. "The Office of Public Integrity is a solution in search of a problem."

Voinovich is chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, as well as a member of the domestic security panel.

After the latter committee scotched the ethics office provision, it approved legislation that would require lobbyists to provide more detailed reports on their activities, to file that information more frequently, and to disclose the money they spend to promote their clients' interests.

The bill also would require lobbyists to list annually the campaign donations and fund-raising events in which they take part.

Penalties for violations of these rules would be increased. And the "cooling off" period — the time a former senator must wait before lobbying his onetime colleagues — would be extended to two years from one year.

The bill is expected to be combined with one passed this week by the Senate Rules Committee, then sent to the Senate floor as early as next week.

The Rules Committee measure aims to rein in "earmarking" — the popular legislative practice of tucking money into bills, often at the behest of lobbyists, for projects benefiting a particular state or industry. Also, senators would be required to provide more information about meals paid for by lobbyists or travel financed by outside groups. And the lawmakers would be prohibited from accepting gifts from lobbyists.

The House is expected to take up an overhaul of its ethics rules this month, although the chamber's Republican leaders have been struggling to reach agreement on the package's key elements.

Boyle, the Common Cause spokeswoman, said that enacting tougher reporting requirements would not address what she termed a fundamental failure to enforce current rules.

She argued that the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in January to defrauding his clients and conspiracy to bribe members of Congress, did not arise because of a lack of ethics rules in the House and Senate.

"It was about rules that were broken and there was no enforcement for breaking them whatsoever," Boyle said.

She said the opposition of Voinovich to the ethics office proposal was particularly disappointing.

"Voinovich is a good-government guy," Boyle said. "He is an ally with us on a number of issues."

Collins and Lieberman insisted that their proposal was not meant to imply that the Senate Ethics Committee had not been doing a good job — but Voinovich and his allies were not persuaded.

Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), who was among those voting against the ethics office, noted that he had served on the ethics panel and that it was an "often thankless task" because most of its deliberations were secret.

"Unfortunately, this can create the perception that the committee is inactive," he said.

Common Cause and other watchdogs contend that the track records for the House and Senate ethics committees demonstrate that lawmakers are reluctant to vigorously investigate one of their own.

As an alternative, they have urged Congress to follow the example set by about two dozen states that have created outside ethics panels that, with varying degrees of independence and authority, oversee the conduct of state legislators.

Collins was philosophical about the defeat of the ethics office idea.

"Reform is always very difficult, especially … when you're trying to reorganize Congress," she said.

Lieberman said he would seek to bring the proposal to the Senate floor when debate opened on the other changes to ethics rules.

"To really make the reforms real requires a stronger, more independent enforcement process," Lieberman said.

Fueling the push for ethics rule changes have been the Abramoff scandal and November's guilty plea by then-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-San Diego) to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Cunningham resigned his seat as he entered his plea.

After Abramoff's guilty plea, GOP leaders in the House and Senate pledged to take bold steps, such as banning trips by lawmakers paid for by interest groups, to clean up Congress. But since then, such efforts have stalled.

Several lawmakers have argued that the crimes committed by Abramoff and Cunningham were isolated and that Congress should resist the temptation to make systematic changes because of them.


Senate panel rejects new ethics office

Measures requiring lobbyists to disclose more sent to full Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Legislation that would force lobbyists to disclose more about their spending to influence the political process advanced Thursday in the Senate, but minus a key provision that would have set up a new independent office to monitor congressional ethics.

The 12-1 vote in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sends the bill to the Senate floor, where it could come up next week.

That would be about two months after former lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in a federal corruption investigation involving his providing of lavish trips, meals and golf outings "in exchange for a series of official acts."

The relative speed in moving the bill reflects election-year concerns that lobbying and ethics scandals have alienated voters.

"The consequences of these scandals are so antithetical to our democracy and so damaging to Congress that we must come together to produce reform or face further derision and mistrust," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Connecticut, who sponsored the bill with committee chairman Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Quarterly reports

Under the Collins-Lieberman bill, lobbyists would have to file quarterly reports of their activities, instead of the current twice a year, and would have to ensure Internet access to those reports. Lobbyists would also have to provide details of trips they arrange for legislators and make annual disclosures of their campaign contributions or fundraisers for politicians.

Retiring lawmakers would have to wait two years before accepting jobs lobbying Congress, up from the current one-year waiting period.

But in a 11-5 vote, the committee decided to eliminate a provision that would have set up an office of public integrity, an agency with investigative and subpoena powers that would complement and assist the work of the House and Senate ethics committees.

"Restoring public confidence is essential and the public is very leery about whether we can set our own rules," Collins said in explaining the need for the new office. She and Lieberman stressed that the ethics committees would still have final say on proceeding with investigations or charging members with violations.

But three committee members who are also on the six-member ethics committee balked, saying they were doing a good job and adding another of bureaucracy would only complicate their work.

"I fear that the ethics committee will become little more than a paralyzed political body," said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, chairman of the ethics committee.

Lieberman vowed to reintroduce the provision when the bill reaches the Senate floor.

Lieberman, joined by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, was successful in winning approval of an amendment that would require paid lobbyists to reveal information about grassroots lobbying, helping clients to encourage the general public, through mass mailings or advertising, to contact federal officials. Smaller grassroots lobbying efforts aimed at 500 people or less would be exempt.

On Tuesday, the Senate Rules Committee approved similar lobbying legislation that included a new procedure for senators to wean earmarks, those specifically targeted and at times wasteful projects that lawmakers like to take home to their constituents, from larger bills.

Any single senator would be able to raise a point of order against an earmark that didn't get a committee vote, and 60 votes would be needed to keep it alive.

The full Senate will consider some combination of the two bills, which overlap in such areas as extending the waiting period for lobbyist jobs to two years.

House moves slower

The House has been slower on the lobbying issue, so far only moving to ban former-members-turned-lobbyists from the House floor and gym. House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-California, at a hearing on the issue Thursday, urged unity, saying that "with one voice, we can improve the stature of Congress in the eyes of the American people."

But House GOP leaders have met rank-and-file opposition to their earlier proposal to ban all privately funded travel for lawmakers, and on Thursday the top Democrat on the House ethics committee, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, dismissed a Dreier proposal to hold joint hearings on the issue.

Mollohan said the ethics committee, which has been inactive for more than a year because of partisan disputes, was trying to restore its nonpartisan character, and an open hearing on the ethics issue would undermine that effort.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press www.cnn.com
Senate panel rejects ethics office
WASHINGTON (AP) — Posted 3/2/2006 1:18 PM

A Senate committee on Thursday emphatically rejected the creation of a new office to oversee ethics violations by lawmakers. The proposed office had been a cornerstone of legislation aimed at cleaning up congressional relations with lobbyists.

Opposition to the proposed Office of Public Integrity was led by members of the Senate ethics committee, who defended their own work in investigating allegations of wrongdoing and said a new layer of bureaucracy was unneeded.

"I fear that the ethics committee will become little more than a paralyzed political body," said Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, chairman of the ethics committee and the sponsor of the amendment to eliminate language on the new office from the lobbying bill.

The vote by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee was 11-5 to remove the provision.

The committee later approved the lobbying bill, which could be introduced on the Senate floor, along with similar legislation backed by the Senate Rules Committee earlier this week, as early as next week.

The Rules Committee bill focused on new steps by which lawmakers could eliminate earmarks, the thousands of pet projects inserted into larger bills, often at the urging of special interest groups. The bill would allow a single member to raise a point of order striking such specific projects from a bill, and require 60 votes to keep the project in the bill.

The new office was supported by the panel's chairman and top Democrat, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., who said an independent office to investigate and oversee ethics issues was needed in the wake of recent scandals that have damaged the reputation of Congress.

"Restoring public confidence is essential and the public is very leery about whether we can set our own rules," Collins said. Lieberman stressed that with the new office the ethics committees in the House and Senate would still make all final decisions about investigating charges or citing members for violations.

But Voinovich and two other panel members who are also on the ethics committee, Sens. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., argued that unlike the House ethics committee, which has done little over the past year because of partisan fights, the Senate committee is doing its job. The new office, Pryor said, would result in "a fundamental change in the nature of the Senate ethics committee."

The Collins-Lieberman bill, patterned after legislation promoted by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., requires greater disclosure from lobbyists about contributions they give to lawmakers or travel they arrange.

It also requires retiring lawmakers to wait two years, instead of the current one, before taking a job lobbying Congress, and increases fines for lobbyists who violate the rules.

The idea of an independent ethics office is being pushed by lawmakers, led by Democrats, who say the current system isn't capable of handling ethics issues in a fair and timely fashion. Lieberman said he would offer an amendment to restore the office of public integrity to the bill when it is debated on the Senate floor.

The House also is working on legislation in response to the fallout from the scandal over Jack Abramoff, the former lobbyist who pleaded guilty as part of a federal corruption investigation case involving the spending of millions of dollars to buy political influence.

House Republicans, however, are still divided over some key issues, such as whether to ban all privately funded travel. Abramoff hosted several prominent lawmakers on trips to Scotland and elsewhere marked more by rounds of golf than by fact-finding events.


Senate Panel Rejects Ethics Office
By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press WriterThu Mar 2, 3:32 PM ET

Legislation that would force lobbyists to disclose more about their spending to influence the political process advanced Thursday in the Senate, but minus a key provision that would have set up a new independent office to monitor congressional ethics.

The 12-1 vote in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sends the bill to the Senate floor, where it could come up next week.

That would be about two months after former lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in a federal corruption investigation involving his providing of lavish trips, meals and golf outings "in exchange for a series of official acts."

The relative speed in moving the bill reflects election-year concerns that lobbying and ethics scandals have alienated voters.

"The consequences of these scandals are so antithetical to our democracy and so damaging to Congress that we must come together to produce reform or face further derision and mistrust," said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (news, bio, voting record), D-Conn., who sponsored the bill with committee chairman Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Under the Collins-Lieberman bill, lobbyists would have to file quarterly reports of their activities, instead of the current twice a year, and would have to ensure Internet access to those reports. Lobbyists would also have to provide details of trips they arrange for legislators and make annual disclosures of their campaign contributions or fundraisers for politicians.

Retiring lawmakers would have to wait two years before accepting jobs lobbying Congress, up from the current one-year waiting period.

But in a 11-5 vote, the committee decided to eliminate a provision that would have set up an office of public integrity, an agency with investigative and subpoena powers that would complement and assist the work of the House and Senate ethics committees.

"Restoring public confidence is essential and the public is very leery about whether we can set our own rules," Collins said in explaining the need for the new office. She and Lieberman stressed that the ethics committees would still have final say on proceeding with investigations or charging members with violations.

But three committee members who are also on the six-member ethics committee balked, saying they were doing a good job and adding another of bureaucracy would only complicate their work.

"I fear that the ethics committee will become little more than a paralyzed political body," said Sen. George Voinovich (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio, chairman of the ethics committee.

Lieberman vowed to reintroduce the provision when the bill reaches the Senate floor.

Lieberman, joined by Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich, was successful in winning approval of an amendment that would require paid lobbyists to reveal information about grassroots lobbying, helping clients to encourage the general public, through mass mailings or advertising, to contact federal officials. Smaller grassroots lobbying efforts aimed at 500 people or less would be exempt.

On Tuesday, the Senate Rules Committee approved similar lobbying legislation that included a new procedure for senators to wean earmarks, those specifically targeted and at times wasteful projects that lawmakers like to take home to their constituents, from larger bills.

Any single senator would be able to raise a point of order against an earmark that didn't get a committee vote, and 60 votes would be needed to keep it alive.

The full Senate will consider some combination of the two bills, which overlap in such areas as extending the waiting period for lobbyist jobs to two years.

The House has been slower on the lobbying issue, so far only moving to ban former-members-turned-lobbyists from the House floor and gym. House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., at a hearing on the issue Thursday, urged unity, saying that "with one voice, we can improve the stature of Congress in the eyes of the American people."

But House GOP leaders have met rank-and-file opposition to their earlier proposal to ban all privately funded travel for lawmakers, and on Thursday the top Democrat on the House ethics committee, Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, dismissed a Dreier proposal to hold joint hearings on the issue.

Mollohan said the ethics committee, which has been inactive for more than a year because of partisan disputes, was trying to restore its nonpartisan character, and an open hearing on the ethics issue would undermine that effort.

Homeland Security Committee: http://hsgac.senate.gov/


Most Americans Urge for Tougher Lobbying Rules
March 5, 2006  http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/11091

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in the United States believe the behaviour of lobbyists in federal politics must be more transparent, according to the George Washington University Battleground 2006 poll by Lake Snell Perry and Associates and The Tarrance Group. 87 per cent of respondents call for greater disclosure by lobbyists about their work and their level of congressional contacts.

Also, 86 per cent of respondents want greater disclosure by members of Congress about their contacts and campaign contributions.

In January, lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion charges as part of a deal to cooperate with a federal corruption investigation. More than 70 per cent of respondents call for a broader gift ban, more transparency on congressional pay raises, increasing the lobbying ban on former members to two years, and changing the contribution limits on political action committees and individuals.

Last week, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs said the creation of an independent office to investigate congressional ethics charges was unnecessary. Republican senator George Voinovich declared, "The ethics committee is already doing this. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel."

Polling Data

Support for specific proposals of congressional reform and lobbying reform

 
Greater disclosure by lobbyists about their work
and their level of congressional contacts
87%
Greater disclosure by members of Congress about
their contact with lobbyists and about campaign
contributions from lobbyists
86%
A broader gift ban 79%
Greater transparency on congressional pay raises 76%
Increasing the lobbying ban on
former members to two years
75%
Changing the contribution limits on PACs
and individuals
73%
Banning lobbying on the floor of the House
and in the House gym
67%
A broader travel ban 67%
Ending earmarks 59%
 

Source: George Washington University Battleground 2006 / Lake Snell Perry and Associates / The Tarrance Group
Methodology: Telephone interviews to 1,000 registered American voters, conducted from Feb. 12 to Feb. 15, 2006. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

 


March 01, 2006
Senate panel approves modest lobby reform proposal


Krystal MacIntyre at 2:51 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Senate Rules and Administration Committee [official website] has unanimously approved the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006 [summary, PDF; committee materials], which incorporates only modest curbs on privately financed trips and earmarks. If the bill is passed by the full Senate, it will require senators to disclose all travel on corporate jets and receive advance clearance for privately financed trips. The bill also subjects earmarks to a 60-vote threshold. If an earmark, a special-interest provision that legislators include in bills, is challenged and does not receive 60 votes, the Senate would strike it from body of the proposed legislation. The bill did not include strict restrictions proposed by some lawmakers.

This move comes two months after the Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] corruption scandal and is the first step towards revising current lobby law. Intense disagreements still remain among lawmakers as to what changes are necessary, and several ethics reform [JURIST news archive] proposals for lobbyists have recently been introduced.


Lobbyists oppose plan to reform ethics rules
Krystal MacIntyre at 3:32 PM ET January 25, 2006

[JURIST] In a US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs [official website] hearing on lobbying reform [hearing materials] Wednesday, trade group lobbyists questioned the need for the new ethics reform proposal [JURIST report] that would place stricter regulations on lobbyists and lawmakers. The new regulations were proposed shortly after Republican Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to charges of mail fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to corrupt public officials in connection with bribing lawmakers to win favors for his clients. The new rules are meant to increase reporting requirements for lobbyists, limit privately financed trips for lawmakers, and set more stringent restrictions. In testimony before the committee, lobbyists said the new rules are not necessary, and urged Congress instead to focus on enforcing existing ethics rules [House backgrounder]. Public advocacy groups, however, say that a reform of the rules and regulations surrounding lobbying practices is necessary in order to prevent lobbyists from buying influence

Lobbyists Urge Congress Not to Overreact on Ethics Rule Changes

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Trade group lobbyists told a U.S. Senate committee today that the investigation into influence peddling involving Jack Abramoff is an aberration and questioned the need for new ethics rules to regulate their relationships with lawmakers.

``It is imperative that you do not overreact,'' former Michigan Governor John Engler, the president of the Washington- based National Association of Manufacturers, said in prepared testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. ``Just as a majority of senators and members of Congress have always conducted themselves in a legal and ethical manner, so too have a vast majority of lobbyists.''

The Senate hearing was the first since Abramoff's Jan. 3 guilty plea in U.S. federal court to conspiracy to corrupt public officials, mail fraud and tax evasion. He has agreed to cooperate with a U.S. Justice Department corruption probe. The Republican lobbyist plied lawmakers with free meals, trips overseas and access to skyboxes at sporting events to win favors for Indian tribes and other clients.

House and Senate lawmakers of both parties have introduced legislation to impose new regulations on lobbyists and lawmakers, and the Republican leadership in both chambers is drafting its own measures. Most of the proposals would increase reporting requirements for lobbyists, impose restrictions on privately financed trips for lawmakers and require former members of Congress to wait two years before they begin lobbying their ex-colleagues.

`Public Confidence'

``We must act to strengthen the laws governing disclosure and ban practices that erode public confidence in the integrity of government decisions,'' said Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who is chairwoman of the committee.

Paul Miller, president of the American League of Lobbyists, questioned whether any new rules are needed.

``No matter how well-intentioned a reform effort may be, it will be meaningless to the American people if we first don't begin by talking about enforcement of the current rules,'' Miller said in his prepared testimony. ``Before we create new ones, therefore, we would urge Congress to undertake a detailed review of what's currently in place, to see how effective those rules and regulations would be with enforcement.''

The lobbyists' position contrasts with that of public advocacy groups in Washington such as Public Citizen and the League of Women Voters which have called for new limits on lobbyist donations, a ban on lobbyists raising money for candidates, and the end to lobbyist-funded events honoring members of Congress, such as those held at the national party conventions.

``Their money has a greater potential to buy influence,'' said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a Washington- based advocacy group. ``For that reason, we believe a lower contribution limit can be placed on lobbyists.''

There are currently 27,611 registered lobbyists, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, a Washington group that tracks money in politics.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at  jsalant@bloomberg.net.



Senate Panel Approves Modest Curbs on Lobbyists

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 — Congress took its first step toward revamping lobbying law on Tuesday, as a Senate committee unanimously approved modest curbs on privately financed trips and the special-interest provisions known as earmarks.

But the measure did not include the tough restrictions that some lawmakers had proposed.

Nearly two months after the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal rocked Capitol Hill, the 17-to-0 vote in the Senate Rules Committee demonstrated just how hard it might be to reach consensus on changes in lobbying law.

Intense disagreements remain, particularly about private and corporate travel, and they do not always pit Republicans against Democrats.

The Republican-controlled panel, for instance, rejected two proposals offered by the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. One would have required senators to reimburse corporations for travel on their jets. Senators now pay the equivalent of first-class fares, which generally cost far less.

The other proposal would have doubled, to two years, the current ban on former senators' lobbying their colleagues after leaving public office.

Mr. Santorum, asked later whether his colleagues were backing away from tough changes, said, "To some extent, they certainly did today."

In the House, the Republican leadership is considering a one-year moratorium on privately financed travel, even though the new majority leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, has been cool to the idea.

Mr. Boehner, conducting his first regular briefing with reporters since being elected leader, said Tuesday that his colleagues wanted time to determine how to regulate private trips, allowing legitimate fact-finding excursions to continue while banning lavish junkets.

"There has to be a level of trust between the American people who sent us here and the Congress," he said, adding that changes in lobbying law were "an essential first step in what I view as a long process."

The House is likely to take up measures in the next few weeks. The Senate could act as early as next week.

The measure that the rules panel approved on Tuesday is not the only bill working its way through the Senate. On Thursday, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is to draft its own version.

The chairwoman of that committee, Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said she, like Mr. Santorum, advocated reimbursement for corporate travel.

Another leading Republican, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, said such a provision would make it nearly impossible for him to travel in his state, where airline service is limited and voters are scattered across a vast expanse.

The panel chairman, Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, said afterward that he saw Mr. Stevens's point.

"Somebody's got to look at this in a way that deals with reality and makes sense," Mr. Lott said. "Do we want to artificially make people pay more, which would force working-class senators not to be able to travel, and the rich guy to travel at will?"

Under the measure adopted on Tuesday, senators would be required to receive advance clearance for privately financed trips and would have to disclose all travel on corporate jets. The measure would bar retiring senators from negotiating for work with business until their successors had been named or elected.

The bill tries to rein in earmarks, the pet projects that lawmakers sometimes insert in bills at lobbyists' behest, by subjecting them to a 60-vote threshold. If an earmark is challenged and does not receive 60 votes, the Senate would strike it from larger legislation.

The panel did not take up a proposal by Senator Mark Dayton, Democrat of Minnesota, for new restrictions on the legislative activities of lobbyists who are elected to Congress. Mr. Lott ruled the proposal out of order, saying it did not fall under the committee's jurisdiction, and advised Mr. Dayton to keep working on it.

"This was a good give and take," Mr. Lott said afterward.

Democrats, whose alternative measure was rejected by a party-line vote, thought there was more give than take. They calculated that it would be better to vote with Republicans on the rules panel and later press their alternative when the bill reaches the full Senate. The Democratic leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, said later that the party-line vote "speaks volumes."



Lobbying reform bill goes to full Senate absent ethics office provision
Joshua Pantesco at 3:58 PM ET March 02, 2006

 
Photo source or description

[JURIST] The US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee [official website] voted 12-1 Thursday to send a lobbying oversight bill to the full Senate, but the bill was stripped of a provision establishing an independent office with oversight over congressional ethics issues. The Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2005 [full draft text; advocacy group summary] as approved would expand the definition of a lobbyist to include grassroots lobbyists, demand quarterly expense reports of all lobbyists, and require the disclosure of all campaign contributions from lobbyists to candidates.

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) [official website] read a statement [text] supporting the inclusion of the oversight office provision within the text of the full Senate bill. He explained:

It would establish, as the Chairman has mentioned, an independent Office of Public Integrity with a full time executive director with investigative and subpoena powers and the staff to do a lot more than is done under the status quo. It would require lobbyists to report their activities on a quarterly basis, rather than semi-annually, and establish an electronic database of the information. Our proposal for the first time would require registered lobbyists to report all their campaign contributions, as well as other contributions that honor Members of Congress, all in the interest of full disclosure. And it would increase from one year to two the amount of time that must pass before a former Member of Congress or senior executive branch official could lobby his or her former colleagues. It would also bar Congressional staff from lobbying the entire Congress for one year.

Lieberman noted that recent scandals involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] had motivated the legislation. During full Senate hearings on the issue, a combination of an ethics reform proposal [JURIST report] approved by a separate Senate committee on Wednesday and the lobbying oversight bill will likely be considered.


Patriot Act OK'd, ethics watchdog agency is rejected
Strong Senate vote on homeland security gives Bush boost; House to vote next week
Originally published March 3, 2006 www.baltimoresun.com
 
WASHINGTON // A key Senate committee rejected yesterday a proposal to create a new agency that would oversee congressional ethics, dealing a major blow to efforts to give outsiders at least some authority to police lawmakers' conduct.

The plan to set up an Office of Public Integrity was derailed by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee - despite its sponsorship by the panel's chairwoman, Republican Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine, and the ranking Democrat, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.

The measure's 11-5 defeat underscored the growing resistance on Capitol Hill to sweeping reforms advocated by government watchdog groups and some lawmakers in the wake of recent political scandals.

Rather than significantly rewrite their rules for conduct, most members of Congress appear to favor more extensive reporting requirements - mostly for lobbyists.

Meanwhile yesterday, the Senate also voted overwhelmingly to renew the USA Patriot Act, after months of pitched debate over legislation that supporters said struck a better balance between privacy rights and the government's power to hunt down terrorists.

The 89-10 vote marked a bright spot in President Bush's troubled second term as his approval ratings dipped over the war in Iraq and his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. Renewing the act, congressional Republicans said, was key to preventing more terror attacks in the United States.

Critics maintained that the bill is weighted too much toward the interests of law enforcement.

The House was expected to pass the legislation next week and send it to Bush, who would sign it before 16 provisions expire March 10.

The failed congressional ethics proposal called for establishing an office that would operate independently of the existing House and Senate ethics committees and would have the power to initiate investigations of lawmakers. But its findings would be turned over to the congressional ethics panels, whose members would then decide on any penalties.

In yesterday's debate, several senators balked at ceding even limited oversight power to an outside agency.

"There is no need to reinvent the wheel," said Sen. George V. Voinovich, an Ohio Republican who led opposition to the proposal. "The Office of Public Integrity is a solution in search of a problem."

Voinovich is chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, as well as a member of the homeland security panel.

After the latter committee scotched the ethics office provision, it approved legislation that would require lobbyists to provide more detailed reports on their activities, to file that information more frequently and to disclose the money they spend to promote the interest of their clients.

The bill also would require lobbyists to list annually the campaign donations and fund-raising events in which they take part.


Lobbying Reform: An Alligator in Congress?

By: Brad Smith · Section: Diaries Feb 23rd, 2006: 09:22:25
From the diaries . . .

The liberal lobbying group Democracy 21 has come out in favor of an "Office of Public Integrity" to "clean up " Congress.  This office will be "independent," "must receive adequate resources" (whether Congress will be able to control its budget is unclear) and "should have a professional, nonpartisan staff led by a publicly credible, professionally experienced individual."  
Steve Hoersting, Executive Director of the Center for Competitive Politics, has a little warning tale.  See below the fold...

Lobbying Reform: Alligator Emerges From D.C. Swamp

By Steve Hoersting, sitting in for Brad Smith

As a coequal branch of the Federal government, established by the Constitution, Congress has always taken the responsibility of policing its own. While there has been scandal over the years, to be sure, the institution has managed to reform itself over time and to correct many of its abuses.

But after the Abramoff scandal, even the most innocent Members of Congress are searching for ways to get the so-called "reform" organizations to stop calling their institution corrupt.  So Democracy 21, one of the higher profile "reform" organizations in town, has obliged with a plan to establish a "new, independent Office of Public Integrity in Congress to oversee and enforce the congressional ethics rules."

The Office's jurisdiction would cover both the House and Senate and would "have a professional, nonpartisan staff led by a publicly credible, professionally experienced individual."  If you've not met the folks at Democracy 21 and wonder who they might view as publicly credible or professionally experienced--and you're a Democrat--picture Larry Klayman.  If you're a Republican, picture ... well, Larry Klayman.

The duties of the Office would include advising Members on the interpretation of ethics rules, investigating potential violations on the basis of the "Office's own inherent jurisdiction", and presenting cases and evidence to the ethics committees for decisions of whether violations have occurred.  "The Office must receive adequate resources to effectively carry out its duties" says Democracy 21, "and funding should be provided on an entitlement basis ... not by annual appropriations."   In other words, once the Office were established Congress would have no authority to reduce its budget, and limited ability to replace it with something else, or simply shut it down.

For many years the Federal Election Commission had just such a "reformer" as its General Counsel: a "professionally experienced individual", approved by Democracy 21, who made his career enforcing "ethics" against others.  He's not there anymore, having since moved on to bigger, more independent, reform projects.  But when he was at the FEC things were "professional" and "independent."  His team of "nonpartisan professionals helped advise Members of Congress on the meaning of the campaign finance rules; investigated cases based on the Commission's own inherent jurisdiction; and presented cases and evidence to the Commissioners for decisions of whether violations had occurred.  His team would administer, investigate and compile the cases, and draft summaries of all "relevant" information.  They even summarized the respondent's arguments for him, and submitted that summary to the Commissioners, including in it an assessment of the overall merits of the case and a recommended course of action.  When, on occasion, a member of a Commissioner's staff would request to see a document cited in a summary or relied upon by the respondent, the professionals would suggest the staffer first get support for the request from a majority of the Commissioner's colleagues; after all, the professionals were busy doing the work of the People.  The "professionally experienced individual" would review all cases for final edit before sending them to the Commissioners.  If a favorable vote looked unlikely, he would occasionally withdraw his recommendation until his team could work on the case further.  The case would be resubmitted later, with an additional but informal recommendation that the Commissioners take no extra time to consider or investigate the case further, lest the statute of limitations run.  Soon it seemed that nearly all the larger cases, or those with strained legal theories, were submitted for Commissioners' approval closer and closer to the statute of limitations.

After a time, several respondents thought the FEC's legal theories were too far a field and its findings unjust, so they sued.  The Commissioners yielded to the professional's recommendations and supported the litigation.  But in nearly a dozen cases Federal courts overwhelmingly rejected the professional's theory, culminating in a case wherein Judge Michael Luttig, writing for the Fourth Circuit, noted that the FEC's argument--that "no words of advocacy are necessary to expressly advocate the election of a candidate"--was untenable, contrary to long-established precedent, and sufficient reason for the Fourth Circuit to take the highly unusual step of awarding attorneys fees to the respondent.  The professionally experienced individual didn't miss a beat, recommending that the Commissioners not enforce the rule in the Fourth Circuit but should enforce it every where it wasn't specifically invalidated, and then extended his theory to a whole new class of communications.  Soon the RNC, the DNC, the AFL-CIO, several state party committees, a coalition of business organizations, and the Christian Coalition found themselves in protracted investigations before the FEC.  Each of these entities, every one, was exonerated, some after six years and subsequent Federal litigation.

So, eventually, the Commissioners stopped taking the recommendation of its independent professional, and decided it would be better to focus on tougher enforcement of clear violations.  The professional later left the FEC, and the time it took to resolve cases soon began to decline.  Routine violations were punished more rapidly, but witch-hunts into alleged "conspiracies" came to a halt.  And do you know what happened?  The "reform" community --led by Democracy 21 -- called those Commissioners, of both political parties, corrupt.  They called for the resignation of some, and called for a complete remaking of the institution--perhaps, in the image of a czar, an "independent" one, of course.

Installing an independent Office of Public Integrity in the halls of Congress has all of the foresight and feasibility of bringing a pet alligator into your home.  The hatchling's novelty quickly wanes as its opinion on when and what's for dinner progresses from bellowing recommendation, to agitating hiss, to threatening roar.  No matter how conscientiously its keeper adjusts or accedes to its needs, the gator seeks more and still more, until after a time it becomes unclear what if any meal would satisfy its appetite or for how long.  And it becomes even less clear--to the keeper, anyway--whether the gator is living in your house, or you're living in his. www.campaignfreedom.org

 


 

Former GOP Lawmaker Gets 8 Years
Cunningham Also Must Pay Back Millions for Bribery and Tax Offenses

By Sonya Geis and Charles R. Babcock
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, March 4, 2006; A01

SAN DIEGO, March 3 -- Former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a decorated fighter pilot in Vietnam who admitted taking $2.4 million in bribes from two defense contractors, was sentenced Friday to eight years and four months in federal prison for selling his office.

U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns imposed the sentence after prosecutors argued for the maximum 10 years and defense attorneys suggested that six years was enough because Cunningham, 64, is suffering from various physical ailments, as well as depression. The California Republican resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy to commit bribery in November.

Appearing much thinner than he did last fall, Cunningham choked up as he addressed the judge. "No man has ever been more sorry," he said. "I made a very wrong turn. I rationalized decisions I knew were wrong. I did that, sir."

Burns said the amount of money Cunningham took "emasculates" previous bribery crimes. Noting that he, too, raised a family on a government salary, the judge said he understood wanting "the good things in life." But Burns added: "You weren't wet. You weren't cold. You weren't hungry, and yet you did these things."

In a related development, the CIA's inspector general is looking into whether Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the agency's executive director and its third-ranking official, arranged for any contracts to be given to companies associated with Brent Wilkes, one of the contractors identified as having made payments to Cunningham. Foggo, a senior intelligence officer handling complex clandestine contracts, is an old friend of Wilkes from their high school and college days. The investigation was first reported by Newsweek.

"It is standard practice . . . to look into assertions that mention agency officers. That should in no way be seen as lending credibility to any allegation," the CIA said in a statement. "Mr. Foggo has overseen many contracts in his decades of public service. He reaffirms that they were properly awarded and administered."

In the San Diego courtroom, Cunningham wiped away tears when his attorney, K. Lee Blalack II of Washington, referred to the former congressman's wartime service, which included shooting down five enemy planes over Vietnam and being shot down himself. "There are men in this courtroom who are walking around and breathing because Duke Cunningham put his life at risk," Blalack said.

Blalack said Cunningham already had suffered greatly. "This man has been humiliated beyond belief by his own hand. He is estranged from those he loves most and cares most about," Blalack said. "All his worldly possessions are gone. He will carry a crushing tax debt until the day he dies. He will go to jail until he's 70 years old."

But prosecutor Jason A. Forge said Cunningham should not get a break, pointing out that he spent months denying the allegations after they appeared last June.

"As these crimes are unprecedented, so, too, should be his punishment," prosecutor Philip Halpern told the judge. He said that Cunningham "was squandering precious tax dollars for, among other things, systems the military didn't ask for, didn't need and frequently didn't use."

The judge recommended the prison term be served in a federal facility near Bakersfield, Calif. In addition, Burns ordered that Cunningham pay $1.8 million in back taxes and penalties plus $1.85 million in restitution based on the bribes he received.

Cunningham's greed was unparalleled, according to prosecutors, who detailed in two pre-sentencing memos what they would have presented at trial.

One included a detailed list -- with pictures -- of the house, boat, cars, antiques, rugs and other bribes he took over the past five years. It contained a copy of a "bribe menu" on Cunningham's personal note card that signified he would trade $1 million of federal funding for $50,000, and then offer a discount of $25,000 per million once he had collected $200,000.

In return, Cunningham admitting using his seats on the appropriations and intelligence committees to earmark funding for programs intended for the companies of Mitchell J. Wade and Wilkes. He then "bullied and hectored" Pentagon officials to ensure their firms, MZM Inc. and ADCS Inc., were awarded federal contracts, the government said.

Wade pleaded guilty Feb. 24 in Washington to four criminal charges related to the case. Wilkes has not been charged, though prosecutors said the investigation is continuing.

Thomas E. Mann, an expert on Congress at the Brookings Institution, said Friday that "we haven't seen anything like" the magnitude and duration of Cunningham's corruption since the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s.

Cunningham was elected to Congress in 1990, a few years after retiring from the Navy, in which he had been an instructor at the "top gun" school for fighter pilots and the first ace in the Vietnam War. When the GOP took over the House in 1995, he used his committee seats to earmark funds for Wade and Wilkes. Wilkes's company collected at least $80 million in federal contracts, and Wade's was awarded more than $150 million in the past three years.

Cunningham's downfall began last June when the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Wade had bought the lawmaker's home near San Diego for $1.675 million and sold it months later at a $700,000 loss. Cunningham used the profits -- after Wade sent him a $115,100 check to pay the capital gains tax -- to buy a $2.55 million mansion in nearby Rancho Santa Fe. That was followed by a disclosure that Cunningham was living rent-free while in Washington on Wade's yacht, the Duke-Stir.

At first, prosecutors said, Cunningham attempted to cover up his crimes by writing a phony undated letter to Wade offering to pay his loss on the home sale to "eliminate any negative perception." To explain away rugs and antiques Wade had bought for him, Cunningham said that his check to the rug dealer had been lost in the mail, and that he "reminded" the antiques dealer he had given Wade cash for the purchases, prosecutors wrote.

The dealer recalled no such transaction. The rugs and antiques will be auctioned off this month to help pay what Cunningham owes the government.

Despite the conviction, Cunningham will get a congressional pension. Peter Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union, estimated that Cunningham's 15 years in the House will make him eligible for about $36,000 a year. With his 21 years of Navy duty added to that total, his annual pension would be about $64,400, Sepp said.

Babcock reported from Washington. Staff writer Walter Pincus and researcher Madonna Lebling in Washington contributed to this report.




Ex-Congressman Gets 8-Year Term in Bribery Case

SAN DIEGO, March 3 — After acknowledging that he had "made a very wrong turn," former Representative Randy Cunningham was sentenced in federal court here on Friday to eight years and four months in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes from military contractors in return for smoothing the way for government contracts.

The government, which called the misconduct unprecedented for its "depth, breadth and length," said the sentence was the longest ever handed down for a member or former member of Congress in a federal corruption case.

In a halting, cracking voice before journalists, friends, political associates and others, Mr. Cunningham, 64, stood before the judge and largely read from a statement as he pleaded for leniency and, turning to prosecutors, apologized for his crime.

"I rationalized decisions I knew were wrong," said Mr. Cunningham, a Naval pilot ace in the Vietnam War and "Top Gun" instructor who parlayed those experiences into a powerful political career. "Before there must be forgiveness, there must be redemption. No man has ever been more sorry."

Judge Larry Alan Burns of Federal District Court said the former congressman's conduct, which prosecutors said included keeping a "bribe menu" with the prices of influence, undermined faith in government and wasted tax dollars. In addition to some cash payments, Mr. Cunningham bargained for gifts like a sport utility vehicle, a Tiffany statue, Bijar rugs and candelabras.

Judge Burns said Mr. Cunningham, an eight-term Republican from Rancho Santa Fe who represented the northern suburbs of San Diego, could have retired to business long ago if he wanted to make copious money but instead engaged in bid rigging and badgering officials and other witnesses to help cover his tracks.

"You made a wrong turn and continued for three to five years," Judge Burns said, referring to what prosecutors documented as the period of misconduct. "I wonder how far you would have gone.

"You undermined the opportunity and option for honest politicians to do a good job."

The judge rejected Mr. Cunningham's request to delay his arrival in prison so he could visit his 91-year-old mother, saying Mr. Cunningham had had months to say his goodbyes.

Judge Burns, in recognition of what Mr. Cunningham's lawyers have described as his failing health, recommended sending him first to a prison medical center for evaluation. He also voiced admiration for Mr. Cunningham's war heroism.

Mr. Cunningham's lawyers had asked the judge for a six-year sentence, citing his military service and what they called health so failing that he may have seven years to live. Prosecutors urged the judge to abide by the 10-year sentence that Mr. Cunningham had agreed to after he pleaded guilty in November and resigned from Congress. Judge Burns noted that the sentence could be reduced by 15 months if Mr. Cunningham behaved well in prison.

Prosecutors said they might also seek a reduction if they are satisfied that he was cooperating with their investigation.

Mr. Cunningham was ordered to pay $1,804,031.50 in restitution for back taxes, penalties and interest owed to the government and was ordered to forfeit an additional $1,851,508, based on cash he received in his crimes.

The extent of corruption stunned his constituents and Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill and, along with the scandal centering on the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, sparked calls to change lobbying rules. The two investigations and others involving lawmakers and senior aides have emerged as major election themes.

Given Mr. Cunningham's focus on funneling federal money to specific projects in exchange for lobbyists' payoffs, his case put particular scrutiny on "earmarking," using measures to direct money to favored projects.

Proposals are circulating in the House and Senate to require more disclosure of the projects and their sponsors and to open opportunities to strip the earmarks slipped into bills at the last minute.

In the weeks leading up to the sentencing, sharper details of Mr. Cunningham's crimes emerged. In court papers, the government said he had behaved like an old ward boss, sketching out a "bribe menu" on a note card with the Congressional seal. One column offered $16 million in contracts in exchange for the title to a boat the contractor had bought for $140,000. The card further detailed how much more contract work could be bought for every additional $50,000 paid to Mr. Cunningham.

The papers document lavish travel on chartered jets paid by contractors with catered meals of lobster, wine and "other extravagances." Bribers put him up at top-of-the-line resorts like the Royal Hawaiian on Oahu, Hawaii and in the Greenbriar Resort in West Virginia.

Mr. Cunningham, the government said, "bullied and hectored" officials standing in his way and tampered with witnesses to have them play down or distort his misdeeds.

The principal co-conspirator in the case, Mitchell Wade, a military contractor who is the founder and former president of MZM Inc. in Washington, pleaded guilty last week in federal court to several charges, including giving Mr. Cunningham $1 million in bribes.

Mr. Cunningham's lawyers in court filings, including a psychiatric report, portrayed his life as disintegrating, saying ailments had left him with perhaps seven years to live.

The psychiatric report, by Dr. Saul J. Faerstein of Beverly Hills, Calif., said Mr. Cunningham suffered depression and suicidal thoughts, in addition to a history of prostate cancer and other ailments.

Searching for an explanation for Mr. Cunningham's conduct, Dr. Faerstein said: "Society needs heroes and wants them to be superheroes. The normal sense of mortality is suppressed in order to fulfill this role."

After the sentencing, two marshals approached Mr. Cunningham and escorted him without handcuffs from the courtroom, one of them guiding him by the waist, patting him on the back and whispering in his ear. Mr. Cunningham will spend perhaps a week or so in a jail across the street before moving to prison, said an assistant United States attorney, Phillip L. B. Halpern, who helped prosecute the case.

On March 23, the government plans to auction some of the antiques that Mr. Cunningham forfeited after pleading guilty, including French armoires, candlesticks, nightstands and a glass buffet.


Pro-Israel Lobbying Group Roiled by Prosecution of Two Ex-Officials

Two former officials of the nation's top pro-Israel lobbying group are charged with receiving classified information about terrorism.

WASHINGTON, March 4 — The annual gathering of the nation's top pro-Israel lobbying group, which starts here on Sunday, will be addressed by Vice President Dick Cheney and United Nations Ambassador John R. Bolton. Politicians are lined up to warn of the threat from Iran and Hamas. Workshops will offer advice on winning the legislative game on Capitol Hill.

But the official program omits a topic likely to be a major theme of corridor chatter: the explosive Justice Department prosecution of two former officials of the group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that is ticking toward an April trial date.

The highly unusual indictment of the former officials, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, accuses them of receiving classified information about terrorism and Middle East strategy from a Defense Department analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, and passing it on to a journalist and an Israeli diplomat. Mr. Franklin pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12½ years in prison, though his sentence could be reduced based on his cooperation in the case.

The prosecution has roiled the powerful organization, known as Aipac, which at first vigorously defended Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman and then fired them last March. And it has generated considerable anger among American Jews who question why the group's representatives were singled out in the first place.

Aipac would appear to be an unlikely target for the Bush administration; it is a political powerhouse that generally shares the administration's hawkish views on the potential nuclear threat from Iran and the danger of Palestinian militancy. But the case does fit with the administration's determination to stop leaks of classified information.

Some legal experts say the prosecution threatens political and press freedom, making a felony of the commerce in information and ideas that is Washington's lifeblood. Federal prosecutors are using the Espionage Act for the first time against Americans who are not government officials, do not have a security clearance and, by all indications, are not a part of a foreign spy operation.

"The feeling in the Jewish community is one of indignation at Aipac's being unfairly targeted by federal prosecutors for trying to find out what everyone in this town is trying to find out — what the government is thinking," said Douglas M. Bloomfield, who was a legislative director of Aipac in the 1980's and who now writes a syndicated column on American Mideast policy.

As the marquee conference speakers attest, Aipac's clout has not been visibly diminished by the criminal case. Membership has increased 25 percent in the last two years to more than 100,000, and the budget has grown to $45 million, the group said. "As always, the organization is completely focused on its core mission, the strengthening of the U.S.-Israel relationship," said Patrick Dorton, an Aipac spokesman.

Mr. Bloomfield said he had been told by insiders that the investigation of Mr. Rosen, director of foreign policy issues at Aipac and an influential figure there for more than 20 years, and Mr. Weissman, a Mideast analyst with the group since 1993, had proved a "fund-raising windfall" as donors rallied to offer their support.

But the case has set off alarms among the policy groups, lobbyists and journalists who swap information, often about national security issues, with executive-branch officials and Congressional staff members. They were not reassured by a remark from the federal judge hearing the case, at Mr. Franklin's sentencing in January, that the laws on classified information were not limited to government officials.

"Persons who have unauthorized possession, who come into unauthorized possession of classified information, must abide by the law," the judge, T. S. Ellis III, said. "That applies to academics, lawyers, journalists, professors, whatever."

A January legal brief by lawyers for Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman — written in part by Viet D. Dinh, a conservative former assistant attorney general in the Bush Justice Department — argued that the charges were a dangerous effort to criminalize conduct protected by the First Amendment. That argument gets fervent support from people who may not share the Aipac officials' conservative views on foreign policy.

"If receiving and passing on national defense information is a crime, we're going to have to build a lot more jails," said Steven Aftergood, who runs the Project on Government Secrecy at the liberal Federation of American Scientists. "To make a crime of the kind of conversations Rosen and Weissman had with Franklin over lunch would not be surprising in the People's Republic of China. But it's utterly foreign to the American political system."

Peter Raven-Hansen, a law professor at George Washington University, said the case raised several legal issues and undoubtedly would end up in the next edition of his textbook on national security law.

"Leaving aside the idea that this might chill exchanges with the press, this is a guaranteed formula for selective prosecution," Mr. Raven-Hansen said. In other words, he said, so many people have conversations involving borderline-classified information that the government will not be able to prosecute them all and will have to pick and choose, raising a fundamental fairness question.

Justice Department officials will not discuss the case. But in announcing the indictment of Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman in August, Paul McNulty, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said, "Those not authorized to receive classified information must resist the temptation to acquire it, no matter what their motivation may be."

The inquiry dates back to 1999 when, according to the indictment against Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, they first violated the Espionage Act, which makes it a crime to possess and disseminate national defense information without authorization. What remains a mystery is how and when the government first focused on the Aipac employees, and why they were singled out among the hundreds of foreign policy advocates in the capital.

Former and current intelligence officials have said the two men may have stumbled into an American intelligence operation involving electronic monitoring of Israeli interests in the United States. The indictment includes what it indicates is a verbatim quotation from an April 1999 conversation Mr. Rosen had with an official of a foreign country, identified as Israel by government officials who have been briefed on the case.

Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman are accused of orally passing on to a journalist and to foreign officials classified information about American policy options in the Middle East, an F.B.I. report on the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

In August 2002, according to the indictment, the two Aipac officials first met Mr. Franklin, who supplied them with more information, much of it involving policy options toward Iran. In pleading guilty, Mr. Franklin said he did not intend to damage the United States but hoped the two lobbyists would be advocates for his views within the administration.

(Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Mr. Rosen, and John N. Nassikas III, who represents Mr. Weissman, declined to discuss the case.)

Aipac and its former employees have tussled over legal fees. In October, according to a person who had been briefed about the dispute and who would describe the delicate negotiations only on condition of anonymity, the group offered the men about $800,000 apiece to cover legal fees. But they turned down the offer because it would have required them to give up their right to sue Aipac, the person said.

Though Aipac is not accused of wrongdoing, some lawyers say a trial could prove embarrassing for the group, because it could delve into the inner workings of the organization and the internal roles played by Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman.

"A trial has got to be a concern for Aipac," said Neal Sher, a former federal prosecutor and a former executive director of Aipac. "You don't know what might come out. A trial might reveal its inner workings, its dealings with the government and its dealings with Israel."

Mr. Sher, like other former Aipac officials, said one particularly sensitive point for the group would be any evidence that it ever acted at the behest of Israeli officials. Aipac officials have never registered as agents of Israel and have never been required to, because they have not acted at the "order, request, direction or control" of Israel, said Philip Friedman, the group's general counsel.

But the question of dual loyalty, to the United States and to Israel, became touchy after the investigation was revealed. At last year's conference, the group broke with tradition and did not sing the Israeli national anthem.

This year, officials have said, the tradition will be restored. Both the American and Israeli anthems are on the program.
|


Amid AIPAC's Big Show, Straight Talk With a Noticeable Silence

By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, March 7, 2006; A02 www.washingtonpost.com

Words are seldom minced at the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

During a luncheon speech yesterday at the convention center, Daniel Gillerman, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, shouted a barnyard obscenity involving a bull when he dismissed the theory that Iran and Hamas might soften their anti-Israel views. The audience gave Gillerman a standing ovation.

The undiplomatic diplomat went on to describe a war on radical Islam: "While it may be true -- and probably is -- that not all Muslims are terrorists, it also happens to be true that nearly all terrorists are Muslim."

But ask people at this week's gathering about Steve Rosen, the father of modern AIPAC, who goes on trial next month for disseminating classified information, and you get the sort of look you'd expect if you inquired about an embarrassing medical condition.

"I'm not the person to ask about that," says Nathan Diament, a Washington representative for Orthodox Jews.

"Who?" responds Neil Cooper, a delegate from the Philadelphia area.

"Rosen? Which one is he?" answers a charity executive, with a smile.

"I need to read more about it," demurs Etan Cohen, a college student.

AIPAC staff members note that, with Iran and the Palestinians to worry about, the indictments of Rosen and former deputy Keith Weissman have not been mentioned in any of the group's public meetings so far. And they say the pro-Israel lobby, unharmed by the Rosen flap, is putting on its biggest and best show ever this week: 4,500 participants, including more than 1,000 students, paying visits to at least 450 House and Senate offices.

Indeed, the scandal doesn't seem to have slowed down the group. At last night's dinner, AIPAC set aside 27 minutes for the reading of its annual "Roll Call" of lawmakers, diplomats and administration officials attending the gathering. As of midday yesterday, RSVPs had come in from 57 embassies, from Burundi to Turkey; a score of Bush administration officials; a majority of the Senate; and a quarter of the House. Even the ambassadors of Pakistan and Oman supped at AIPAC's table.

Any talk of Rosen is confined to private donor meetings and hallway conversations -- where opinions are split on AIPAC's decision to turn its back on Rosen and Weissman.

"I don't like the way AIPAC handled it, hanging them out to dry," said one West Coast delegate, after delivering an on-the-record no comment. "They didn't do anything different from what everybody else does in this town every day."

Rosen and Weissman are the first nongovernment officials to be prosecuted under the all-but-forgotten Espionage Act of 1917. The law, amended in 1950, makes it a crime for an unauthorized person even to have classified information knowingly; if Rosen broke that law, so do hundreds of other lobbyists and journalists as part of their normal course of business.

The New Yorker magazine reported last year that AIPAC's lawyer, Nathan Lewin, recommended that the two officials be fired after he heard from prosecutors about an FBI-recorded telephone call between Rosen, Weissman and The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, in which Rosen observed that "at least we have no Official Secrets Act." Lewin and the prosecutors may not have realized that the line -- referring to a British law about publishing classified information -- was a stock joke Rosen used in conversations with Kessler and other reporters.

AIPAC at first defended Rosen vigorously, then dismissed him in April over unspecified conduct "beneath the standards AIPAC sets for its employees." The group has advised members that it has not taken a position on whether Rosen acted legally.

That nuance was understandably lost on most of the attendees asked about the matter at yesterday's session. "AIPAC doesn't support passing of state secrets to Israel, and that's my view, too," said Daniel Rathauser, a high school senior from New Jersey.

Max Newman, from Michigan, had no complaints, either. "I respect the way the organization handled it," he said. "What they did was against the policy of AIPAC."

Exactly what they did should come out in next month's trial. In the meantime, AIPAC is clamping down on what information it lets out.

Luncheon speeches by former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former Virginia governor Mark Warner (D) were declared off the record. At another speech yesterday by Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, reporters were turned away at the door; an AIPAC spokeswoman went through the room making sure no journalists had infiltrated.

At the public sessions, the message was uniform: AIPAC is strong, and getting stronger. "Thank God for AIPAC," Gillerman told the participants. "This is for us the greatest guarantee and insurance policy for the survival of Israel," he added. "Please don't ever change."

As Rosen and Weissman have learned, it already has.



PUBLISHED:  SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF "VANITY FAIR" MAGAZINE
 
TITLE:  AN INCONVENIENT PATRIOT
 
SUBJECT:  SIBEL EDMONDS & TURKISH LOBBY
 
Published: Aug 5, 2005
By: David Rose


Love of country led Sibel Edmonds to become a translator for the
F.B.I. following 9/11. But everything changed when she accused a
colleague of covering up illicit activity involving Turkish
nationals. Fired after sounding the alarm, she's now fighting for the
ideals that made her an American, and threatening some very powerful
people.

-------


In Washington, D.C., and its suburbs, December 2, 2001 was fine but
cool, the start of the slide into winter after a spell of
unseasonable warmth. At 10 o'clock that morning, Sibel and Matthew
Edmonds were still in their pajamas, sipping coffee in the kitchen of
their waterfront town house in Alexandria, Virginia, and looking
forward to a well-deserved lazy Sunday.

Since mid-September, nine days after the 9/11 attacks, Sibel had been
exploiting her fluency in Turkish, Farsi, and Azerbaijani as a
translator at the F.B.I. It was arduous, demanding work, and Edmonds-
who had two bachelor's degrees, was about to begin studying for her
master's, and had plans for a doctorate-could have been considered
overqualified. But as a naturalized Turkish-American, she saw the job
as her patriotic duty.

The Edmondses' thoughts were turning to brunch when Matthew answered
the telephone. The caller was a woman he barely knew-Melek Can
Dickerson, who worked with Sibel at the F.B.I. "I'm in the area with
my husband and I'd love you to meet him," Dickerson said. "Is it O.K.
if we come by?" Taken by surprise, Sibel and Matthew hurried to
shower and dress. Their guests arrived 30 minutes later. Matthew, a
big man with a fuzz of gray beard, who at 60 was nearly twice the age
of his petite, vivacious wife, showed them into the kitchen. They sat
at a round, faux-marble table while Sibel brewed tea.

Melek's husband, Douglas, a U.S. Air Force major who had spent
several years as a military attaché in the Turkish capital of Ankara,
did most of the talking, Matthew recalls. "He was pretty outspoken,
pretty outgoing about meeting his wife in Turkey, and about his job.
He was in weapons procurement." Like Matthew, he was older than his
wife, who had been born about a year before Sibel.

According to Sibel, Douglas asked if she and Matthew were involved
with the local Turkish community, and whether they were members of
two of its organized groups-the American-Turkish Council (A.T.C.) and
the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (A.T.A.A.). "He said
the A.T.C. was a good organization to belong to," Matthew says. "It
could help to ensure that we could retire early and live well, which
was just what he and his wife planned to do. I said I was aware of
the organization, but I thought you had to be in a relevant business
in order to join.

"Then he pointed at Sibel and said, `All you have to do is tell them
who you work for and what you do and you will get in very quickly.'"
Matthew could see that his wife was far from comfortable: "She tried
to change the conversation to the weather and such-like." But the
Dickersons, says Matthew, steered it back to what they called
their "network of high-level friends." Some, they said, worked at the
Turkish Embassy in Washington. "They said they even went shopping
weekly for [one of them] at a Mediterranean market," Matthew
says. "They used to take him special Turkish bread."

Before long, the Dickersons left. At the time, Matthew says, he found
it "a strange conversation for the first time you meet a couple. Why
would someone I'd never met say such things?"

Only Sibel knew just how strange. A large part of her work at the
F.B.I. involved listening to the wiretapped conversations of people
who were the targets of counter-intelligence investigations. As she
would later tell investigators from the Justice Department's Office
of the Inspector General (O.I.G.) and the U.S. Congress, some of
those targets were Turkish officials the Dickersons had described as
high-level friends. In Sibel's view, the Dickersons had asked the
Edmondses to befriend F.B.I. suspects. (In August 2002, Melek Can
Dickerson called Sibel's allegations "preposterous, ludicrous and
slanderous.")

Sibel also recalled hearing wiretaps indicating that Turkish Embassy
targets frequently spoke to staff members at the A.T.C., one of the
organizations that Turkish Embassy targets frequently spoke to staff
members at the A.T.C., one of the organizations that the Dickersons
allegedly wanted her and her husband to join. Sibel later told the
O.I.G. she assumed that the A.T.C.'s board-which is chaired by Brent
Scowcroft, President George H. W. Bush's national-security advisor-
knew nothing of the use to which it was being put. But the wiretaps
suggested to her that the Washington office of the A.T.C. was being
used as a front for criminal activity.

Sibel and Matthew stood at the window of their oak-paneled hallway
and watched the Dickersons leave. Sibel's Sunday has been ruined.

Immediately and in the weeks that followed, Sibel Edmonds tried to
persuade her bosses to investigate the Dickersons. There was more to
her suspicions than their peculiar Sunday visit. According to the
documents filed by Edmonds's lawyers, Sibel believed Melek Can
Dickerson had leaked information to one or more targets of an F.B.I.
investigation, and had tried to prevent Edmonds from listening to
wiretaps of F.B.I. targets herself. But instead of carrying out a
thorough investigation of her allegations, at the end of March 2002
the F.B.I. fired Edmonds.

Edmonds is not the first avowed national security whistle-blower to
suffer retaliation at the hands of a government bureaucracy that
feels threatened or embarrassed. But being fired is one thing.
Edmonds has also been prevented from proceeding with her court
challenge or even speaking with complete freedom about the case.

On top of the usual prohibition against disclosing classified
information, the Bush administration has smothered her case beneath
the all-encompassing blanket of the "state-secrets privilege"-a
Draconian and rarely used legal weapon that allows the government,
merely by asserting a risk to national security, to prevent the
lawsuits Edmonds has filed contesting her treatment from being heard
in court at all. According to the Department of Justice, to allow
Edmonds her day in court, even at a closed hearing attended only by
personnel with full security clearance, "could reasonably be expected
to cause serious damage to the foreign policy and national security
of the United States."

Using the state-secrets privilege in this fashion is unusual, says
Edmonds's attorney Ann Beeson, of the American Civil Liberties
Union. "It also begs the question: Just what in the world is the
government trying to hide?"

It may be more than another embarrassing security scandal. One
counter-intelligence official familiar with Edmonds's case has told
Vanity Fair that the F.B.I. opened an investigation into covert
activities by Turkish nationals in the late 1990's. That inquiry
found evidence, mainly via wiretaps, of attempts to corrupt senior
American politicians in at least two major cities-Washington and
Chicago. Toward the end of 2001, Edmonds was asked to translate some
of the thousands of calls that had been recorded by this operation,
some dating back to 1997.

Edmonds has given confidential testimony inside a secure Sensitive
Compartmented Information facility on several occasions: to
congressional staffers, to investigators from the O.I.G., and to the
staff from the 9/11 commission. Sources familiar with this testimony
say that, in addition to her allegations about the Dickersons, she
reported hearing Turkish wiretap targets boast that they had a covert
relationship with a very senior politician indeed-Dennis Hastert,
Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House since
1999. The targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of
thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for
political favors and information. "The Dickersons," says one official
familiar with the case, "are only the tip of the iceberg."

It's safe to say that Edmonds inherited her fearless obstinacy from
her father, Rasim Deniz, who died in 2000. Born in the Tabriz region
of northwestern Iran, many of whose natives speak Farsi (Persian),
Turkish, and Azerbaijani, he was one of the Middle East's leading
reconstructive surgeons, but his forthright liberal and secular
opinions brought him into a series of conflicts with the local
regimes. One of Sibel's earliest memories is of a search of her
family's house in Tehran by members of SAVAK, the Shah's secret
police, who were looking for left-wing books. Later, in 1981, came a
terrifying evening after the Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamist
revolution, when Sibel was 11. She was waiting in the car while her
father went into a restaurant for takeout. By the time Deniz
returned, his vehicle had been boxed in by government S.U.V.'s and
Sibel was surrounded by black-clad revolutionary guards, who
announced they were taking her to jail because her headscarf was
insufficiently modest.

"My father showed his ID and asked them, `Do you know who I am?,'"
Sibel says. "He had been doing pro bono work in the slums of south
Tehran for years, and now it was the height of the Iran-Iraq war. He
told them, `I have treated so many of your brothers. If you take my
daughter, next time I have one in my operating room who needs an
amputation at the wrist, I will cut his arm off at the shoulder.'
They let me go."

It was time to get out. As soon as he could, Deniz abandoned his
property and his post as head of the burn center at one of Tehran's
most prestigious hospitals, and the family fled to Turkey.

When Sibel was 17, she wrote a paper for a high-school competition.
Her chosen subject was Turkey's censorship laws, and why it was wrong
to ban books and jail dissident writers. Her principal was outraged,
she says, and asked her father to get her to write something else.
Denis refused, but the incident caused a family crisis. "My uncle was
mayor of Istanbul, and suddenly my essay was being discussed in an
emergency meeting of the whole Deniz tribe. My dad was the only one
who supported what I'd done. That was the last straw for me. I
decided to take a break and go to the United States. I came here and
fell in love with a lot of things-freedom. Now I wonder: was it just
an illusion?"

Sibel enrolled at a college in Maryland, where she studied English
and hotel management; later, she received bachelor's degrees at
George Washington University in criminal justice and psychology, and
worked with juvenile offenders. In 1992, at age 22, she had married
Matthew Edmonds, a divorced retail-technology consultant who had
lived in Virginia all his life.

For a long time, they lived an idyllic, carefree life. They bought
their house in Alexandria, and Sibel transformed it into an airy
spacious haven, with marble floors, a library, and breathtaking views
across the Potomac River to Washington. Matthew had always wanted to
visit Russia, and at Sibel's suggestion they spent three months in
St. Petersburg, working with a children's hospital charity run by the
cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Sibel's family visited America often,
and she and Matthew spent their summers at a cottage they had bought
in Bodrum, Turkey, on the Aegean coast.

"People said we wouldn't last two years," Sibel says, "And here we
still are, nearly 13 years on. A lot of people who go through the
kind of experiences I've had find they put a huge strain on their
marriage. Matthew is my rock. I couldn't have done it without him."

In 1978, when Sibel was eight and the Islamists' violent prelude to
the Iranian revolution was just beginning, a bomb went off in a movie
theater next to her elementary school. "I can remember sitting in the
car, seeing the rescuers pulling charred bodies and stumps out of the
fire. Then, on September 11, to see this thing happening here, across
the ocean-it brought it all back. They put out a call for
translators, and I thought, Maybe I can stop this from happening
again."

The translation department Edmonds joined was housed in a huge, L-
shaped room in the F.B.I.'s Washington field office. Some 200 to 300
translators sat in this vast, open space, listening with headphones
to digitally recorded wiretaps. The job carried heavy
responsibilities. "You are the front line," Edmonds says. "You are
the filter fro every piece of intelligence which comes in foreign
languages. It's down to you to decide what's important-`pertinent,'
as the F.B.I. calls it, and what's not. You decide what requires
verbatim translation, what can be summarized, and what should be
marked `not pertinent' and left alone. By the time this material
reaches the agents and analysts, you've already decided what they're
going to get." To get this right requires a broad background of
cultural and political knowledge: "If you're simply a linguist, you
won't be able to discern these differences."

She was surprised to discover that until her arrival the F.B.I. had
employed no Turkish-language specialists at all. In early October she
was joined by a second Turkish translator, who had been hired despite
his having failed language-proficiency tests. Several weeks later, a
third Turkish speaker joined the department: Melek Can Dickerson. In
her application for the job, she wrote that she had not previously
worked in America. In fact, however, she had spent two years as an
intern at an organization that figured in many of the wiretaps-the
American-Turkish Council.

Much later, after Edmonds was fired, the F.B.I. gave briefings to the
House and Senate. One source who was present says bureau officials
admitted that Dickerson had concealed her history with the A.T.C.,
not only in writing but also when interviewed as part of her
background security check. In addition, the officials conceded that
Dickerson began a friendship at the A.T.C. with one of the F.B.I.'s
targets. "They confirmed that when she was supposed to be listening
to his calls," says one congressional source. "To me, that was like
asking a friend of a mobster to listen to him ordering hits. She
might have an allegiance problem. But they seemed not to get it.They
blew off their friendship as `just a social thing.' They told
us `They had been colleagues at work, after all.'"

Shortly after the house visit from the Dickersons, Sibel conveyed her
version of the event to her supervisor, Mike Feghali-first orally and
then in writing. The "supervisory language specialist" responsible
for linguists working in several Middle Eastern languages, Feghali is
a Lebanese-American who had previously been an F.B.I. Arabic
translator for many years. Edmonds says he told her not to worry.

To monitor every call on every line at a large institution such as
the Turkish Embassy in Washington would not be feasible. Inevitably,
the F.B.I. listens more carefully to phones used by its targets, such
as the Dickersons' purported friend. In the past, the assignment of
lines to each translator has always been random: Edmonds might have
found herself listening to a potentially significant conversation by
a counter-intelligence target one minute and an innocuous discussion
about some diplomatic party the next. Now, however, according to
Edmonds, Dickerson suggested changing this system, so that each
Turkish speaker would be permanently responsible for certain lines.
She produced a list of names and numbers, together with her proposals
for dividing them up. As Edmonds would later tell her F.B.I. bosses
and congressional investigators, Dickerson had assigned the American-
Turkish Council and three other "high-value" diplomatic targets,
including her friend, to herself.

Edmonds found this arrangement very questionable. But she says that
Dickerson spent a large part of that afternoon talking with Feghali
inside his office. The next day he announced in an e-mail that he had
decided to assign the Turkish wiretaps on exactly the basis
recommended by Dickerson.

Like all his translators, Edmonds was effectively working with two,
parallel lines of management: Feghali and the senior translation-
department bosses above him, on one hand, and, on the other, the
investigators and agents who actually used the material she
translated. Early in the new year, 2002, Edmonds says, she discovered
that Dennis Saccher, the F.B.I.'s special agent in charge of Turkish
counter-intelligence, had developed his own, quite separate concerns
about Dickerson.

On the morning of January 14, Sibel says, Saccher asked Edmonds to
come into his cramped cubicle on the fifth floor. On his desk were
printouts from the F.B.I. language-department database. They showed
that on numerous occasions Dickerson had marked calls involving her
friend and other counter-intelligence targets as "not pertinent," or
had submitted only brief summaries stating that they contained
nothing of interest. Some of these calls had a duration of more than
15 minutes. Saccher asked Edmonds why she was no longer working on
these targets' conversations. She explained the new division of
labor, and went on to tell him about the Dickersons' visit the
previous month. Saccher was appalled, Edmonds says, telling her, "It
sounds like espionage to me."

Saccher asked Edmonds and a colleague, Kevin Taskasen, to go back
into the F.B.I.'s digital wiretap archive and listen to some of the
calls that Dickerson had marked "not pertinent," and to re-translate
as many as they could. Saccher suggested that they all meet with
Feghali in a conference room on Friday, February 1. First, however,
Edmonds and Taskasen should go to Saccher's office for a short pre-
meeting-to review their findings and to discuss how to handle
Feghali.

Edmonds had time to listen to numerous calls before the Friday
meeting, and some of them sounded important. According to her later
secure testimony, in one conversation, recorded shortly after
Dickerson reserved the targets' calls for herself, a Turkish official
spoke directly to a U.S. State Department staffer. They suggested
that the State Department staffer would send a representative at an
appointed time to the American-Turkish Council office, at 1111 14th
St. NW, where he would be given $7,000 in cash. "She told us she'd
heard mention of exchanges of information, dead drops-that kind of
thing," a congressional source says. "It was mostly money in exchange
for secrets." (A spokesperson for the A.T.C. denies that the
organization has ever been involved in espionage or illegal payments.
And a spokesperson for the Assembly of Turkish American Associations
said that to suggest the group was involved with espionage or illegal
payments is "ridiculous.")

Another call allegedly discussed a payment to a Pentagon official,
who seemed to be involved in weapons-procurement negotiations. Yet
another implied that Turkish groups had been installing doctoral
students at U.S. research institutions in order to acquire
information about black market nuclear weapons. In fact, much of what
Edmonds reportedly heard seemed to concern not state espionage but
criminal activity. There was talk, she told investigators, of
laundering the profits of large-scale drug deals and of selling
classified military technologies to the highest bidder.

Before entering the F.B.I. building for their Friday meeting with
Saccher, Edmonds and Taskasen stood for a while on the sidewalk,
smoking cigarettes. "Afterwards, we went directly to Saccher's
office," Edmonds says. "We talked for a little while, and he said
he'd see us downstairs for the meeting with Feghali a few minutes
later, at nine A.M." They were barely out of the elevator when
Feghali intercepted them. He didn't know they had just come from
Saccher's office.

"Come on, we're going to start the meeting," he said. "By the way,
Dennis Saccher can't be there, He's been sent out somewhere in the
field." Later, Edmonds says, she called Saccher on the internal
phone. "Why the hell did you cancel?" she asked. Bewildered, he told
her that immediately after she and Taskasen had left his office
Feghali phoned him, saying that the conference room was already in
use, and that the meeting would have to be postponed.

Edmonds says Saccher also told her that he had been ordered not to
touch the case by his own superiors, who called it a "can of worms."
Despite his role as special agent in charge of Turkish counter-
intelligence, he had even been forbidden to obtain copies of her
translations. Saccher had two small children and a settled life in
Washington. If he dared to complain, Edmonds says, he risked being
assigned "to some f**ked-up office in the land of tornadoes."

Instead, Edmonds was ushered into the windowless office of Feghali's
colleague, translation-department supervisor Stephanie Bryan.
Investigating possible espionage was not a task for which Bryan had
been trained or equipped.

Bryan heard Edmonds out and told her to set down her allegations in a
confidential memo. Edmonds says that Bryan approved of her writing it
at home. Edmonds gave the document to Bryan on Monday, February 11.
Early the following afternoon, the supervisor summoned Edmonds.
Waiting in a nearby office were two other people, Feghali and Melek
Can Dickerson. In front of them were Edmonds's translations of the
wiretaps and her memo.

"Stephanie said that she'd taken my memo to the supervisory special
agent, Tom Frields," Edmonds says. "He apparently wouldn't even look
at it until Mike Feghali and Dickerson and seen it and been given a
chance to comment. Stephanie said that, working for the government,
there were certain things you didn't do, and criticizing your
colleagues' work was one of them. She told me, `Do you realize what
this means? If you were right, the people who did the background
checks would have to be investigated. The whole translation
department could be shaken up!' Meanwhile, I was going to be
investigated for a possible security breach-for putting classified
information on my home computer. I was told to go the security
department at three P.M."

Before Edmonds left, Dickerson had time to sidle over to her desk.
According to Edmonds, she made what sounded like a threat: "Why are
you doing this, Sibel? Why don't you just drop it? You know there
could be serious consequences. Why put your family in Turkey in
danger over this?"

Edmonds says the F.B.I.'s response to her was beginning to shift from
indifference to outright retaliation. On February 13, the day after
her interview with the bureau security office, three agents came to
her home and seized the computer she shared with her husband. "I
hadn't had time to back up the data, and I told them that most of my
business was on that computer, Matthew Edmonds says.

"An agent called the next morning," Matthew says. "He told
me, `Everything on your computer is destroyed, and we didn't back it
up.' They were playing games. When I got the computer back, they had
wiped out everything. Four days later, I got a CD-ROM with it all
backed up." A lifelong conservative Republican, Matthew was being
shocked into changing his worldview. I was so naïve. I mean, what do
you do if you think your colleague might be a spy? You go to the
F.B.I.! I thought if Sibel's supervisor wasn't fixing this problem
she should go to his superior, and so on up the chain. Someone would
eventually fix it. I was never a cynical person. I am now."

While the agents were examining the Edmondses' computer, Mike Feghali
was writing a memo for his own managers, stating "there was no basis"
for Sibel's allegations. A day earlier, an F.B.I. security officer
had interviewed Dickerson. A report issued by the O.I.G. in January
2005 states, "The Security Officer did not challenge the co-worker
[Dickerson] with respect to any information the co-worker provided,
although that information was not consistent with F.B.I. records. In
addition.he did not review other crucial F.B.I. records, which would
have supported some of Edmonds' allegations." Instead, he treated her
claims as "performance issues," and "seemed not to appreciate or
investigate the allegation that a co-worker may have been committing
espionage.

According to a congressional source, the fact that Edmonds was a mere
contract linguist, rather than an agent, made her claims less
palatable. "They seemed to be saying, `We don't need someone like
this making trouble,'" the source says. "Yet, to her credit, she
really did go up through the chain of command: to her boss, his boss,
and so on."

Edmonds reached the top of the language-section management on
February 22, when she met with supervisory special agent Tom Frields,
a gray-haired veteran who was approaching the end of a long bureau
career. At first it seemed he was trying to set her mind at rest: "He
told me, I just want to assure you that everything is fine, and as
far as you're concerned, your work on this matter is done,'" Edmonds
says. "I told him, `No, it's not fine. My family is worried about
possible threats to their safety in Turkey.' His face went through a
transformation. He warned me that these issues were classified at the
highest level and must not be disclosed to anyone. He started to
interrogate me: Who had I told? He said if it was anyone unauthorized
he could have me arrested."

Edmonds's meeting with Frields on the 22nd was probably her last
chance to save her job. The inspector general's 2005 report
disclosed, "Immediately after the meeting, [Frields] began to explore
whether the F.B.I. had the option to cease using Edmonds as a
contract linguist."

Four days later the bureau's contracting unit told him, "If it was
determined that [she] was unsuitable, the F.B.I. would have
sufficient reason to terminate her contract." Stymied by Frields,
Edmonds tried to go still higher, and on March 7 she was granted an
audience with James Caruso, the F.B.I.'s deputy assistant director
for counterterrorism and counter-intelligence. Edmonds says he
listened politely for more than an hour but took no notes and asked
no questions. Afterward, Matthew picked her up and they drove to the
Capital Grille for an early lunch. It was only 11:30 and the
restaurant was still empty, but as the Edmondses began to study their
menus, they saw two men in suits pull up outside in an F.B.I.-issue
S.U.V. They came inside and sat down at the next table.

"They just sat and stared at Sibel," Matthew says. "They took out
their cell phones, opened them, and put them on the table. They
didn't eat or drink-just sat, staring at Sibel, the whole time we
were there." Modified cell phones, Sibel knew, are commonly used by
bureau agents as a means of making covert recordings.

That afternoon, Sibel wrote to two official bodies with powers to
investigate the F.B.I.-the Justice Department's internal affairs
division, known as the Office of Professional Responsibility, and its
independent watchdog, the O.IG. She went on to send faxes to the
Senate Intelligence Committee and Senators Charles Grassley,
Republican from Iowa, and Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont, both
of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to say that she had
found evidence of possible national-security breaches.

On March 8, Sibel appeared at a dingy little office in Washington's
China Town, where she was polygraphed. According to the 2005
inspector general's report, the purpose of this examination was to
discover whether she had made unauthorized disclosures of classified
information. "She was not deceptive in her answers," the O.I.G.
reported.

Dickerson was polygraphed two weeks later, on March 21, and she too
was deemed to have passed. But, according to an official cited in the
report, the questions she was asked were vague and unspecific. "The
polygraph unit chief admitted that questions directly on point could
have been asked but were not." Nevertheless, then and for a long time
afterward, "the FBI continued to rely on the [Dickerson] polygraph as
support for its position that Edmonds' allegations were unfounded."

Dickerson's polygraph test, however unsatisfactory, seems to have
sealed Edmonds' fate at the FBI. The following afternoon, she was
asked to wait in Stephanie Bryan's office. "Feghali saw me sitting
there and leaned across the doorway," Edmonds says. "He tapped his
watch and said, `In less than an hour you will be fired, you whore.'"
A few minutes later, she was summoned to a meeting with Frields. They
were joined by Bryan and George Stukenbroeker, the chief of personal
security and the man in charge of investigating her case. Edmonds had
violated every security rule in the book, Stukenbroeker said.

A hulking security guard arrived to help escort her from the
building. Edmonds asked if she could return to her desk to retrieve
some photos, including shots of her late father of which she had no
copies. Bryan refused, saying, "You'll never set foot in the FBI
again."

Bryan promised to forward them, says Edmonds, who never got the
photos back. Edmonds looked at Frields. "You are only making your
wrongdoing worse, and my case stronger. I will see you very soon,"
she told him. According to Edmonds, Frields replied, "Soon maybe, but
it will be in jail. I'll see you in jail." (When interviewed by the
O.I.G., Frields and another witness denied making this comment.)

Matthew was waiting outside. "I'm not a crybaby," Sibel says. "But as
I got into my husband's car that afternoon, I was in floods, shaking.

As soon as she returned home from the February meeting where
Dickerson allegedly cautioned her not to endanger her family in
Turkey, Sibel called her mother and sister in Istanbul, even though
it was the middle of the night there. Sibel is the oldest of three
sisters. The youngest was studying in America and living with the
Edmondses in Alexandria, but the middle sister - whose name Edmonds
wishes to protect - was enjoying a successful career at an
international travel company based in Istanbul. The 29-year-old was
also engaged to be married. Within days of receiving Sibel's call,
she flew with her mother to Washington.

Early in April, Sibel and Matthew were having lunch in their favorite
Thai restaurant in Old Town Alexandria - a precious chance, with
their house now fully occupied with Sibel's family, to share a
private moment together. "My phone rang," Sibel says. "It was my
middle sister. She said something really bad had happened and I must
come back at once."

The sister's Istanbul neighbor had just phoned, saying that two
policemen had knocked on her door, asking for the sister's
whereabouts. They would not disclose the reason, saying only that it
was an "intelligence matter." They also left a document. Sent by
Tevfik Asici of the Atakoy Branch Police Station and dated April 11,
it was addressed to Sibel's sister and read, "For an important issue
your deposition/interrogation is required. If you do not report to
the station within 5 days, between 09:00 and 17:00, as is required by
Turkish law CMK.132, you will be taken/arrested by force."

In July 2002, with a written recommendation from Senator Grassley,
Sibel's sister requested political asylum in the United States. Her
application statement cited the threat allegedly made by Dickerson,
adding that Sibel would be considered "a spy and a traitor to Turkey
under Turkish law, and the Turkish police will use me to get at her.
Turkish police are known for using cruelty and torture during
interrogation; subjects are kept without advice to family members and
often disappear with no trace." Estranged from Sibel, the sister
remains in America, unable to go home.

Edmonds did what numerous avowed whistleblowers had done before: she
appealed to congress, and she got a lawyer - David Colapinto of the
Washington firm of Kohn, Kohn and Calapinto, which advertises itself
on its Web site as specializing in cases of this kind. He filed suit
under the Freedom of Information Act for full disclosure of what
happened inside the bureau, and submitted a claim for damages for the
violation of Edmonds's constitutional rights. By August he was ready
to depose Douglas Can Dickerson. But before their scheduled
deposition, the couple abruptly left the country. Douglas had been
assigned to an air-force job in Belgium. Virgil Magee, a U.S. Air
Force spokesman in Belgium, confirms that Dickerson remains on active
duty in Europe, but refuses to say exactly where.

That fall, Attorney General John Ashcroft tried to wipe out Edmonds's
legal action by invoking the state secrets privilege. This recourse,
derived form English common law, has never been the subject of any
congressional vote or statute. Normally, says Ann Beeson of the
A.C.L.U., it is used be the government when it wants to resist the
legal "discovery" in court of a specific piece of evidence that it
fears might harm national security if publicized. But in Edmonds case
Ashcroft argued that the very subject of her lawsuit was a state
secret. To air her claims in front of federal judges would jeopardize
national security.

This, Beeson says, had distinct advantages for the F.B.I. and the
Department of Justice: it meant they did not have to contest the
merits of her claims. Moreover, the substance of the arguments they
used to justify this level of secrecy was and is secret itself. The
full version of Ashcroft's declaration invoking the privilege, filed
on October 18, 2002, was classified, and in the public case for
blocking Edmonds's action rested on the mere assertion that it would
be damaging to proceed. Later, in 2004, the law firm of Motley Rice
sought to depose her for a pending case on behalf of the families of
9/11 victims. Immediately, Ashcroft asserted the privilege again.
Motley Rice submitted a list of questions it wanted to ask Edmonds,
almost all of which were prohibited. Among them: "When and where were
you born?," "What languages do you speak?," and "Where did you go to
school?"

Edmonds still wanted to fight, and to challenge Ashcroft in court.
But over the next few months, the relationship with her lawyers began
to suffer. "Let's face it, taking on the D.O.J. is no joke,
especially in Washington," Edmonds says.

It was the absolute low point. I tried to find another firm," she
says, "but as soon as I mentioned the state-secrets privilege, it was
like, `Turn around, go back, and by the way the clock is running at
$450 an hour.' I must have been turned away by 20 firms."

The Dickersons, the Justice Department, and the F.B.I. and its
relevant personnel declined to comment for this article. In August
2002, Melek Can Dickerson told the Chicago Tribune, "both the F.B.I.
and the Department of Justice have conducted separate investigations
of [Edmonds's] claims.. They fired her and, interestingly, they
continued my contract."

In September 2002, Colonel James Worth of the Office of the Air Force
Inspector General said that, in response to a letter from Edmonds,
there had been a "complete and thorough review of Major [Douglas]
Dickerson's relationship with the American-Turkish Council" that
found "no evidence of any deviation from the scope of his duties."
Edmonds says she was not interviewed by those conducting the review.

Edmonds' treatment by the F.B.I. seems to fit two baleful patterns:
the first is the bureau's refusal to address potentially disastrous
internal-security flaws; the second is a general tendency among
national-security agencies to retaliate against whistle-blowers.

Amid the lush greenery of his parents' garden in Plattsmouth,
Nebraska; former F.B.I. senior intelligence-operations specialist
John Cole describes how these institutional inclinations combined to
destroy his career. Now 44, Cole joined the F.B.I. in 1985. By the
late 1990's, he was running undercover operations in the Washington
area, focusing on counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence. Later,
while playing a key role in the 9/11 investigation, he became the
F.B.I.'s national counter-intelligence program manager for India,
Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Early in the fall of 2001, Cole was asked to assess whether a woman
who had applied to work as a translator of Urdu, Pakistan's national
language, might pose a risk to security. "The personnel security
officer said she thought there was something that didn't seem right,"
Cole says. "I went through the file, and it stuck out a mile: she was
the daughter of a retired Pakistani general who had been their
military attaché in Washington." He adds that, to his
knowledge, "Every single military attaché they've ever assigned has
been a known intelligence officer."

After September 11, this association looked especially risky. The
Pakistani intelligence service had trained and supported the Taliban
in Afghanistan, and still contained elements who were far from happy
with President Pervez Musharraf's pro-American policies. Cole gave
his findings to the security officer. "Well done," she said. "You've
found it."

A week later, she called Cole again, to say that the woman had
started work that morning with a top-secret security clearance.
F.B.I. director Robert Mueller had promised Congress that the bureau
would hire lots of new Middle Eastern linguists, and normal
procedures had been short-circuited as a result. As of July 2005, the
woman was still a bureau translator. Sibel Edmonds said she remembers
her well - as the leader of a group that pressed for separate
restrooms for Muslims.

Cole says the incident was only one of several that caused him to
doubt the quality and security of the FBI's counterterrorism efforts,
and, like Edmonds, he says he tried to fix the problems he saw by
going up the chain of command. Getting rid of an agent of his stature
was a lot more difficult than firing a contract linguist. Cole says
the retaliation began when, after years of glowing reports, his
annual appraisal found his work in one area to be "minimally
acceptable." Next, he was placed under investigation by the Office of
Professional Responsibility, first on a charge that he lied on a
routine background check, and then, after he had disclosed classified
information without authorization. Finally, he was demoted to menial
roles: "They literally had me doing the Xeroxing" Bitterly
disillusioned, he says, he resigned in March 2004.

"According to the terms of our employment, whistle-blowing is an
obligation," Cole says, "We sign a piece of paper every year saying
we will report any mismanagement or evidence of a possible crime. But
the management's schtick is that if you draw attention to the
bureau's shortcomings you're disgracing it.

Cole is one of about 50 current and former members of the FBI,
C.I.A., National Security Agency, and other bodies who have made
contact recently with Sibel Edmonds. Another is Mike German, one of
the bravest and most successful counterterrorism agents in the
bureau's history, who penetrated a neo-Nazi gang in Los Angeles and a
militia group in Seattle and brought them to justice.

German made his bed of nails in 2002 when he was asked to get
involved in an investigation into a suspected cell of Islamist
terrorists. "I came down and reviewed the case, and it was a complete
mess," he says. "There were violations of FBI policy and violations
of the law. As someone who had been through successful terrorism
prosecutions, I knew you couldn't afford to make mistakes."

Like Cole, German says he thought himself obliged to report what was
going wrong, not to penalize other agents but in the hope of putting
it right. "I though the bureau would do the right thing: that the
case would get back on track, and we'd get the opportunity to take
action against the bad guys involved." Instead, he says, he faced the
familiar litany of escalating retaliation - including an internal
investigation of his own work on the terrorist cell case. "Bear in
mind that only a handful of people have ever infiltrated terrorist
groups," German says. "You'd think that after 9/11 they might have
been interested in that. But word came back to me that I'd never get
a counterterrorism case again." He resigned from the bureau in June
2004.

As I talked to whistle-blowers, I had the impression that those
treated the worst were among the brightest and best. There could be
no clearer example than Russ Tice, and 18-year intelligence veteran
who has worked for the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency
(D.I.A.) and American's eavesdroppers, the National Security
Agency. "I dealt with super-sensitive stuff," he says. "I obviously
can't talk about it, but I had operational roles in both Afghanistan
and Iraq."

It was at D.I.A. in the spring of 2001 that he wrote a report setting
down his suspicions about a junior collage, a Chinese-American who
Tice says was living a lavish lifestyle beyond her apparent means.
Although she was supposed to be working on a doctorate, he noticed
her repeatedly in the office, late at night, reading classified
material on an agency computer. "It's not like I obsessed over the
issue," Tice says. "I did my job, and then 9/11 happened, and I was a
very busy boy."

He moved to the N.S.A. toward the end of 2002. The trigger for his
downfall the following April was the arrest of Katrina Leung; the
F.B.I. informant accused of spying for China while having an affair
with a bureau agent. It prompted Tice to send a classified e-mail to
the D.I.A. security section, commenting that the Leung case showed
that the F.B.I. was "incompetent." The implication was that the
D.I.A. could prove it's competence by fully investigating the junior
colleague.

Tice, a big, powerful man with a forthright manner, has to pause to
control his emotions when he describes what happened as a
consequence. "I was sent for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. I
took all the computer tests and passed them with flying colors. But
then the shrink says he believes I'm unbalanced. Later he said I'm
suffering from "paranoid ideation." He was examined by an independent
psychiatrist, who "found no evidence of mental disorder." But he had
already been denied access to secure places at N.S.A. As a result,
this highly commended technical-espionage expert was put to work in
the N.S.A.'s motor pool, "wiping snow off cars, vacuuming them, and
driving people around. People looked at me like I had bubonic
plague." (The D.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment, and an
agency spokesperson said the agency does not discuss personnel
matters.)

After about eight months of this purgatory, apparently an attempt to
persuade him to resign, he was placed on "administrative leave." Like
other whistle-blowers, he tried to redress his treatment. In August
2004, Tice wrote letters to members of the House and Senate. Six days
later, the N.S.A. began the formal process which would lead to his
getting fired, and to having his clearance revoked permanently. "What
happened to me was total Stalin-era tactics," he says. "Everyone I
know or ever worked with says I'm perfectly sane. Yet I just don't
know what to do next. I've been in intelligence all my life, but
without a security clearance, I can't practice my trade."

Echoing Cole and German, one of the congressional staffers who heard
Edmonds's secure testimony likens the FBI to a family, "and you don't
take your problems outside it. They think they're the best law
enforcement agency in the world, that they're beyond criticism and
beyond reproach." To an outside observer that ethos alone might
explain the use of the state secrets privilege against Edmonds. But,
the staffer adds, some of the wiretaps she said she
translated "mentioned government officials." Here may lie an entirely
different dimension to her case. Vanity Fair has established that
around the time the Dickersons visited the Edmondses, in December
2001, Joel Robertz, an F.B.I. special agent in Chicago, contacted
Sibel and asked her to review some wiretaps. Some were several years
old, others more recent; all had been generated by a counter-
intelligence that had its start in 1997. "It became apparent that
Chicago was actually the center of what was going on."

Its subject was explosive; what sounded like attempts to bribe
elected members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican. "There was
pressure within the bureau for a special prosecutor to be appointed
and take the case on, "the official says. Instead, his colleagues
were told to alter the thrust of their investigation - away from
elected politicians and toward appointed officials. "This is the
reason why Ashcroft reacted to Sibel in such an extreme fashion," he
says "It was to keep this from coming out."

In her secure testimony, Edmonds disclosed some of what she recalled
hearing. In all, says a source who was present, she managed to listen
to more than 40 of the Chicago recordings supplied by Robertz. Many
involved an F.B.I. target at the city's large Turkish Consulate, as
well as members of the American-Turkish Consulate, as well as members
of the American-Turkish Council and the Assembly of Turkish American
Associates.

Some of the calls reportedly contained what sounded like references
to large scale drug shipments and other crimes. To a person who knew
nothing about their context, the details were confusing and it wasn't
always clear what might be significant. One name, however, apparently
stood out - a man the Turkish callers often referred to by the
nickname "Denny boy." It was the Republican congressman from Illinois
and Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. According to some of the
wiretaps, the F.B.I.'s targets had arranged for tens of thousands of
dollars to be paid to Hastert's campaign funds in small checks. Under
Federal Election Commission rules, donations of less than $200 are
not required to be itemized in public filings.

Hastert himself was never heard in the recordings, Edmonds told
investigators, and it is possible that the claims of covert payments
were hollow boasts. Nevertheless, an examination of Hastert's federal
filings shows that the level of un-itemized payments his campaigns
received over many years was relatively high. Between April 1996 and
December 2002, un-itemized personal donations to the Hastert for
Congress Committee amounted to $483,000. In contrast, un-itemized
contributions in the same period to the committee run on behalf of
the House majority leader, Tom Delay, Republican of Texas, were only
$99,000. An analysis of the filings of four other senior Republicans
shows that only one, Clay Shaw of Florida, declared a higher total in
un-itemized donations than Hastert over the same period: $552,000.
The other three declared far less. Energy and Commerce Committee
chairman Joe Barton, of Texas, claimed $265,000; Armed Services
Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, of California, got $212,000; and
Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas, of California,
recorded $110,000.

Edmonds reportedly added that the recordings also contained repeated
references to Hastert's flip-flop, in the fall of 2000, over an issue
which remains of intense concern to the Turkish government - the
continuing campaign to have Congress designate the killings of
Armenians in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 a genocide. For many years,
attempts had been made to get the house to pass a genocide
resolution, but they never got anywhere until August 2000, when
Hastert, as Speaker, announced that he would give it his backing and
see that it received a full house vote. He had a clear political
reason, as analysts noted at the time: a California Republican
incumbent, locked in a tight congressional race, was looking to win
over his district's large Armenian community. Thanks to Hastert, the
resolution, vehemently opposed by the Turks, passed the International
Relations Committee by a large majority. Then, on October 19, minutes
before the full House vote, Hastert withdrew it.

At the time, he explained his decision by saying that he had received
a letter from President Clinton arguing that the genocide resolution,
if passed, would harm U.S. interests. Again, the reported content of
the Chicago wiretaps may well have been sheer bravado, and there is
no evidence that any payment was ever made to Hastert or his
campaign. Nevertheless, a senior official at the Turkish Consulate is
said to have claimed in one recording that the price for Hastert to
withdraw the resolution would have been at least $500,000.

Hastert's spokesman says the congressman withdrew the genocide
resolution only because of the approach from Clinton, "and to
insinuate anything else just doesn't make any sense." He adds that
Hastert has no affiliation with the A.T.C. or other groups reportedly
mentioned in the wiretaps: "He does not know these organizations."
Hastert is "unaware of Turkish interests making donations," the
spokesman says, and his staff has "not seen any pattern of donors
with foreign names."

For more than years after Edmonds was fired, the Office of the
Inspector General's inquiry ground on. At last, in July 2004, its
report was completed - and promptly labeled classified at the behest
of the F.B.I. It took months of further pressure before a redacted,
unclassified version was finally issued, in January 2005. It seemed
to provide stunning vindication of Edmond's credibility.

"Many of Edmonds' core allegations relating to the co-worker [Melek
Can Dickerson] were supported by either documentary evidence or
witnesses," the report said. "We believe that the F.B.I. should have
investigated the allegations more thoroughly."

The F.B.I. had justified firing Edmonds on the grounds that she had
a "disruptive effect," the report went on. However, "this disruption
related primarily to Edmonds' aggressive pursuit of her allegations
of misconduct, which the F.B.I. did not believe were supported and
which it did not adequately investigate. In fact, as we described
throughout our report, many of her allegations had basis in fact,"
the report read. "We believe . that the F.B.I. did not take them
seriously enough, and that her allegations were, in fact, the most
significant factor in the F.B.I.'s decision to terminate her
services."

Meanwhile, Edmonds had new lawyers: the A.C.L.U.'s Ann Beeson, who is
leading the challenge to the state-secrets privilege, and Mark Zaid,
a private attorney who specializes in national-security issues. Zaid
has filed a $10 million tort suit, citing the threats to Edmonds's
family, her inability to look after her real-estate and business
interests in Turkey, and a series of articles in the Turkish press
that have vilified her.

In July 2004, a federal district court had ruled in favor of the
government's use of the state-secrets privilege. Like Ashcroft's
declaration, its opinion contained no specific facts. Next came a
bizarre hearing in the D.C. appeals court in April 2005. The room was
cleared of reporters while Beeson spoke for 15 minutes. Then Beeson
and Edmonds were also expelled to make way for the Department of
Justice lawyers, who addressed the judges in secret. Two weeks later,
the court rejected Edmond's appeal, without expanding on the district
court's opinion. At press time, she was set to file a brief with the
U.S. Supreme Court. If the court agrees to take the case, the
government's reasons for its actions may finally be forced into the
open; legal experts say the Supreme Court has never allowed secret
arguments.

A week after the April appeal hearing, Edmonds gathered more than 30
whistle-blowers from the F.B.I., C.I.A., National Security Agency,
Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies to brief staffers
from the House and Senate. Among the whistle-blowers were Daniel
Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in
1971, and Coleen Rowley, the F.B.I. agent from Minneapolis who
complained that Washington ignored local agents who in August 2001
had raised concerns about a flight student named Zacharias Moussoui,
who has since admitted being an al-Qaeda terrorist.

Many of those present had unearthed apparent breaches of national
security; many aid their careers had been wrecked as a result. At a
press conference after the briefings, Congressman Edward Markey,
Democrat of Massachusetts, praised Edmonds and her colleagues
as "national heroes," pledging that he would introduce a bill to make
it a crime for any agency manager to retaliate against such
individuals. Afterward, the whistle-blowers mingled over hors
d'oeuvres and explored their common ground and experiences. By July,
they are working to formalize their not-for-profit campaign group,
the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. "When they took on
Sibel," says Mike German, who is now the coalition's congressional
liaison, "they made the wrong woman mad."

"I'm going to keep pushing this as long as I can, but I'm not going
to get obsessional," Edmonds says. "There are other things I want to
do with my life. But the day the Iranians tried to arrest me, my
father told me, "Sibel, you only live your life once. How do you
choose to live? According to your principles, or in fear?" I have
never forgotten those words."



APPENDIX IV

Senate's lobby reform: strong enough?

A bill that bans meals and gifts from lobbyists passed Wednesday, but critics say it falls short.

By Gail Russell Chaddock | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor March 31, 2006

WASHINGTON - As senators hunkered down for a final vote on lobbying reform this week, a US district judge in Miami was sentencing ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to nearly six years in prison for fraud.

The buzz from the trial helped the Senate to a 90-8 vote to require more disclosure of lobbyists, but fell far short of the changes that reformers say is necessary to stem corruption.

The Abramoff sentence could have been longer, but his defense lawyers report that Mr. Abramoff has turned over thousands of documents to help federal investigations of bribery and corruption in Congress. Prosecutors wanted to reward his cooperation.

It's a coincidence not lost on members of Congress, who are reviving efforts to move reform legislation before fall elections.

"It is fitting and appropriate that we're completing our work in the Senate on this stage of the lobbying reform bill on the day that former lobbyist Jack Abramoff received his first prison sentence," said Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, after the vote.

The scandals involving Abramoff and former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R) of California, recently sentenced to eight years for bribery involving his placement of earmarks in spending bills for defense contractors, "prompted us to take a look at practices that, while legal, eroded public confidence in the integrity of our institutions here in Washington," she added.

The Senate's bill could have been tougher. The bill bans gifts from lobbyists, requires disclosure of spending on grassroots lobbying activities, and quarterly reports from lobbyists that would be available electronically -a first for the Senate.

However, proposals to ban congressional earmarks and privately funded travel failed to make it into the bill. So did a plan to create a new Office of Public Integrity to take the investigation of ethics charges out of the hands of senators.

Most important, the bill failed to close the door on the vast number of ways lobbyists can help members of Congress, including bundling campaign contributions, sponsoring fundraisers, paying for member events, contributing to a lawmaker's charity.

"We would have been much, much better off with no bill," says Keith Ashdown, vice president of policy at Taxpayers for Common Sense. "Everything they did, there's a simple way around it."

The ban on adding earmarks at the last minute can be circumvented by adding them before conference negotiations. "Based on what the Senate passed today, Duke Cunningham could come back to Congress today and rip off the government for tens of millions more and we wouldn't know it," says Mr. Ashdown.

But most members are convinced that the scandal won't touch them personally. The House version of the bill has been assigned to at least four committees - never a sign that a bill is on a fast track.

"It's very problematic because of the House," says Marshall Wittmann, a former conservative activist now with the Democratic Leadership Council. "The perks are too enticing for them to convert to the religion of reform."

While new House majority leader John Boehner (R) of Ohio doesn't personally favor the use of earmarks, or targeting funds to particular projects -and has taken heat over it in his home district - he is struggling to bring the GOP caucus along. "The Abramoff and Cunningham convictions aren't not going to fuel this any more. It's going to take future indictments," says Ashdown.

A closer look at the lobbying changes

The Senate voted 90-8 Wednesday to approve a number of changes to the way lobbying is reported and conducted. Supporters say the bill, which must be reconciled with a yet-to-be-determined House version, provides greater transparency to the legislative process. Critics say it lacks tough enforcement and falls short of the sweeping reforms first proposed in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal.

The Senate bill does:

Deny floor privileges to former members of Congress who are lobbyists.

• Prohibit lobbyists from giving meals or gifts to lawmakers.

• Require lawmakers to wait two years - not just one - before becoming lobbyists.

• Make it harder for members to add pet projects, called earmarks, to bills.

The Senate bill does not:

• Ban privately funded travel for members.

• Ban earmarks.

• Extend the meal-and-gift ban to companies that hire lobbyists.

• Create an Office of Public Integrity, an independent body that would investigate possible ethics violations by senators.




The Capitol - Washington, D.C. Lobbying Issues



Lobby Reform Lite
Editorial New York Times March 31, 2006
With the ghost of Jack Abramoff, the recently sentenced rogue lobbyist, wafting above the debate, the Senate has voted for a halfhearted package of reforms that would come nowhere near curing the easy money, quid pro quo culture that now bedevils the Capitol.

Facing voters' flagging confidence, the Senate chose to emphasize greater disclosure by lobbyists while rejecting such vital reforms as the creation of an independent office to investigate ethics abuses. The instinct to protect privileged clubbiness carried the day, most glaringly when the Senate spiked any idea of ending lawmakers' shameless use of the executive jets so eagerly offered by corporate officials bent on insider access.

Constituents who are grateful to see even the slightest sign of reform will be happy that the senators have voted to extend to two years the mandatory waiting time before a former lawmaker can strike it rich as a lobbyist. The current wait is one year. The bill also takes the first steps toward uncovering the stealthy world of grass-roots lobbying investments in lawmakers' home districts.

The Senate bill would make it harder — but by no means impossible — for members to quietly "earmark" pork projects in the budget at the behest of lobbyists. But even such an obvious reform as banning meals and gifts from lobbyists came equipped with a gaping loophole so the corporate employers of lobbyists could still pick up those checks.

The unfinished ethics agenda begins with the most critical issue of all: an end to the pervasive role of lobbyists as campaign finance brokers and money bundlers for incumbent politicians. It's reached the point where the people's representatives blatantly designate lobbyists to head their fund-raising teams. This moneyed back-scratching is the seedbed for scandal, but neither house shows any appetite to confront it.

Also ignored was a ban on lawmakers' junketeering at the expense of special-interest check writers. The Senate chose instead to require prior approval of private trips by its spineless ethics committee, a step that would hardly mitigate the cheesiness. Taxpayers, not corporate sponsors, should pay for global fact-finding.

For all its shortcomings, the Senate is a light-year ahead of the House. There, reform proposals have been parceled out to committees for indefinite marination as Republican leaders face rebellious members who want no part of real reform. The chances seem slim for two-house action that truly dents the clout of the booming lobbying industry.


Albany - New York State Lobbying Issues



Cuomo Calls for Total Ban on Gifts From Lobbyists

Andrew M. Cuomo, a candidate for New York attorney general, offered a series of proposals yesterday to tighten ethics rules in state government, including banning all gifts from lobbyists and prohibiting legislators from accepting honorariums for speeches.

Mr. Cuomo made the proposals in a speech at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. Mr. Cuomo, a housing secretary in the Clinton administration and the son of former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, also proposed banning elected officials and other state executives from lobbying the government for three years after leaving office.

Ethics reform has been a prominent issue in recent elections. And Mr. Cuomo made it clear that he would push lawmakers to enact legislation to tighten some of those rules significantly. "If we're going to make state government work better for people, we must take dramatic steps to end the culture of corruption that permeates Albany," Mr. Cuomo said. "This isn't a pie-in-the-sky proposal. These are achievable measures that enjoy broad support among reformers across our state."



Lobbyist Abramoff sentenced to five years, 10 months in fraud case
 
The Associated Press MARCH 29, 2006

MIAMI Disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a business partner were sentenced Wednesday to five years and 10 months in federal prison, the minimum they faced for fraud related to their 2000 purchase of the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet.

Abramoff and Adam Kidan both pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud, but they will not have to report to prison immediately.

The judge postponed their reporting date for at least 90 days so the two can continue cooperating in a Washington corruption investigation and a Florida probe into the killing of former SunCruz owner Konstantinos Boulis. Both deny roles in the killing. Abramoff pleaded guilty in connection with the corruption probe but has yet to be sentenced.

In court Wednesday, Abramoff said the fraud case was "incredibly painful" for himself, his family and his friends.

"In the past two years I have started the process of becoming a new man," he said.

Under their plea agreement, both men had faced a sentence of between five years, 10 months, and seven years, three months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck also ordered them Wednesday to pay restitution of more than $21 million (€17.4 million).

Abramoff and Kidan admitted concocting a fake $23 million (€19 million) wire transfer to make it appear they had made a large cash contribution to the $147.5 million (€122.1 million) purchase of SunCruz Casinos. Based on that fake transfer, lenders provided the pair with $60 million (€49.7 million) in financing.

The same week Abramoff pleaded guilty to the SunCruz fraud, he entered guilty pleas to three federal charges as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe that could involve up to 20 members of Congress and aides, including former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

In addition to assisting in that investigation, Abramoff, 47, and Kidan, 41, are expected to give statements in the investigation into the Feb. 6, 2001, slaying of Boulis, who was gunned down at the wheel of his car amid a power struggle over the gambling fleet. Three men face murder charges, including one who worked for Kidan as a consultant at SunCruz and who allegedly has ties to New York's Gambino crime family.

Both Abramoff and Kidan have repeatedly denied any role in or knowledge of the Boulis murder. But prosecutors say Kidan has not been ruled out as a suspect and defense attorneys say Abramoff could provide critical inside information about the dispute with Boulis, who also founded the Miami Subs restaurant chain.

Ultimately, cooperation in those investigations could reduce Abramoff's and Kidan's sentences.

Abramoff, who was wearing a tan baseball-style cap, did not speak to reporters as he and his lawyers left court after the sentencing.

Before the hearing Wednesday, more than 260 people - including rabbis, military officers and even a professional hockey referee - wrote letters on the men's behalf asking the judge for leniency.

The letters, obtained by The Associated Press, put a new spin on the foibles and crimes of a man who became the face of Washington's latest corruption scandal.

"Jack is a good person, who in his quest to be successful, lost sight of the rules," National Hockey League referee Dave Jackson wrote, describing the time Abramoff brought 14 youngsters to his dressing room before a game.

Kidan, in his own letter to the judge, said he knew the SunCruz deal was wrong but said he "was very caught up in the fast paced world of my partner and the high profile that came along with it." He added, "I am not the horrible person that the media has written about."

Associated Press writer John Solomon in Washington contributed to this report.




Lobbying Reform Stumbles

Congress' push for tougher ethics rules is already dying down

By PERRY BACON JR./WASHINGTON Thursday, Feb. 09, 2006 

A month ago, Jack Abramoff had just been indicted, and the talk all over Capitol Hill was about how Congress should change its rules, stopping lobbyists from getting too close to lawmakers, and vice-versa. But even then, there were signs that lobbying and ethics reforms might be yet another Washington fad that would soon pass. Republican Roy Blunt, then running for the post of House Majority Leader, defended earmarks—money doled out for specific projects in congressional districts. And House Speaker Dennis Hastert, unable to blame the powerless Democrats for the growth in earmarks, found the next best scapegoat, saying the projects grew because "the Senate plays appropriation games."

And now, lo and behold, the reform talk has died down. While House Republicans did push through a ban on former members lobbying in the House gym last week, GOP members also suggested Hastert had overreacted to the Abramoff scandal. "Some of the proposals out there were just not necessary," said one House leadership aide. The new management in the House agrees. Two days before his surprising election as House Majority Leader, Ohio Republican John Boehner had suggested one of Hastert's ideas, banning all privately funded travel, was "childish". Since then Boehner has further distanced himself from the reform ideas, suggesting that current laws have worked in catching violations of ethics rules and an independent office of public integrity to check for abuses is unnecessary. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," Boehner said on Meet the Press last weekend.

Boehner isn't alone in this view. A National Journal poll of 35 Republicans in the House and Senate found only 37% thought Congress should restrict lobbyists' fundraising for members, while 63% disagree. And when the 231 House members get together for a retreat that lasts from Thursday to Saturday in Cambridge, Maryland, House leaders aren't expected to push the issue strongly.

But House members aren't the only problem. Perhaps the two most popular members of the Senate and their respective party's' leaders on ethics and lobbying reform, Barack Obama and John McCain, were engaged earlier this week in a highly personal tiff on the issue. Obama, being pushed by Senate Democratic leaders to use the lobbying reform issue to help attack the GOP as elections loom in November, last week sent a letter to McCain, saying Democrats would pursue their own ethics bill rather than joining a bill created by McCain's bipartisan task force. In a letter this week, the Arizona Senator blasted Obama. "I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics," McCain wrote, "I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble." At a Senate hearing yesterday, Obama and McCain put aside their differences to push for lobbying reform proposals. McCain's bill would allow the Senate to vote to eliminate earmarks out of bills.

Despite these distractions, the House and Senate seem likely to eventually pass some limited changes: greater transparency of which members of Congress have put an earmark into a bill, more disclosure of gifts and contacts of lobbyists with lawmakers, and stricter rules on former congressional staffers or members taking lobbying jobs. But the more dramatic reforms being discussed immediately post-Abramoff, like stopping lawmakers from using corporate jets and "leadership PACs"—which aspiring congressional leaders use to dole out money to and curry favor with other members, and often have lobbyists serving as treasurers—now have a much smaller chance of passing.


Copyright © 2006 Time Inc. All rights reserved. www.time.com


How to Reform Lobbying

Thursday, February 9, 2006; A22

THERE'S NOT a lot of suspense about whether Congress will pass lobbying reform this year. But what kind of reform -- cosmetic or real? Some of the initial signals, particularly from the new House majority leader, Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), are not promising. As we've said, any lobbying reform must be accompanied by changes in how the House governs itself; even so, that will not produce a perfect system by any means. But changing the rules also is crucial, and there are right and wrong ways to go about that. Here are right ways on several components under debate:

· Meals, entertainment and gifts. The question here is whether to impose an outright ban on lawmakers and their staff accepting gifts, meals and entertainment from lobbyists or to couple existing limits ($50 per gift, $100 from any single source per year) with increased disclosure (reporting all gifts worth more than $20), more honest pricing (no more skybox tickets valued at $49.99) and stronger enforcement.

We can't get too worked up about a lobbyist picking up lunch tabs, as long as that is disclosed. But there's no excuse for taking freebies such as sports tickets. And it's important that the rules crack down on the really valuable benefits that private interests now provide -- events such as convention parties honoring key lawmakers, lobbyist-funded holiday parties or cut-rate use of corporate aircraft. Any plan that doesn't end those real perks of office will have fallen short. The resistance to grounding corporate flight is nothing short of outrageous.

· Travel. The issue is whether all private travel should be banned or whether the travel rules should be tightened. We would favor significant tightening over an absolute ban, if that can be feasibly achieved.

The most sensible rule would eliminate travel paid for not only by lobbyists but also by companies and other entities that engage in lobbying activities. But it would permit privately funded travel -- for example, by foundations such as the Aspen Institute -- that isn't paid for, directly or indirectly, by entities that lobby. That rule, combined with detailed disclosure of travel itineraries, expenses, funding and companions, would eliminate abuses without choking off travel that provides a valuable education for lawmakers and their staffers.

· Disclosure. More detailed, timely disclosure is critical to the success of any lobbying reform. Under existing rules, lobbyists are required to report hardly any information -- they can explain simply that they lobbied the House on a particular bill or issue -- and do so only twice a year.

They should be required to detail, at least quarterly, information on meals or other gifts; political contributions; fundraisers hosted; contributions to charities controlled or financed by members, or that they solicit; and previous government employment. More important, lobbyists should report what congressional or executive branch offices they contacted, and with whom they spoke.

A key word in the preceding sentence is "executive." As the Jack Abramoff scandal shows, lobbying executive branch departments can be as profitable as lobbying Congress; there is public interest in shining a light on both. As a subset of this category, any reform should require disclosure of donations to presidential libraries. That a sitting president can raise money for his library in undisclosed and unlimited amounts from any source -- corporations, foreign interests, individuals seeking pardons -- is an invitation to scandal.

The most telling disclosure of all would be to require lobbyists to report how much money they raised for those they lobby. Thus far, not surprisingly, no proposal would take that illuminating step. © 2006 The Washington Post Company www.washingtonpost.com



37,000? 39,402? 11,500?
Just How Many Lobbyists Are There in Washington, Anyway?

Washington Post - United States By Debra Mayberry
Sunday, January 29, 2006; B03

Give yourself a point for the correct answer to this question: What do Tom Bevill, Lloyd Meeds and Tillie Fowler have in common? (a) They are all former members of Congress (b) They are all registered lobbyists (c) They are all dead.

The answer is all of the above. I offer this little quiz as a way of highlighting a point that has caught my attention over the past several months as the media have focused increasing attention on lobbying and tried to quantify the registered lobbyists who currently work the halls of Congress.

On Jan. 19, CNN reported that there are "more than 37,000 registered lobbyists." The Christian Science Monitor cited "39,402" registered lobbyists on Jan. 20. The Seattle Times has "32,890" in a recent article. USA Today is more conservative, reporting "more than 32,000" lobbyists. In last Wednesday's Senate hearing on lobbying reform, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) referred to "more than 30,000 lobbyists" in his remarks. The Senate Office of Public Records (SOPR), the agency responsible for receiving lobbyist registrations and publishing them online, reports 32,890 registered lobbyists as of Sept. 30, 2005.

As the publisher of the directory Washington Representatives and the Web site http://www.lobbyists.info , I have a responsibility to my customers to present accurate and up-to-date information. But the number of actively registered lobbyists that we publish hovers around just 11,500.

How could our count be so different from the widely reported totals? I had to find out. And that's where my quiz comes in.

I have no idea where some of the media's numbers come from. But I took a closer look at the figure that SOPR presents and compared it with our data. The difference in our numbers comes from the fact that we serve different constituencies and apply different methodologies in how we present the data. The Senate Office of Public Records provides a historical record of registered lobbyists. We provide a current record of active lobbyists. It is no wonder that the data look so different.

Let me make it clear that SOPR does a terrific job. We, and many others, rely on its raw data for our publications. Its staff does an exceptional job of making lobby registrations available to the public, and its figure accurately reflects the number of lobbyists who have registered since 1998.

But errors creep into the system in a variety of ways. Often, individual lobbyists register with SOPR under more than one name. For example, George F. (Trey) Barnes III appears in the SOPR database as G. Furman (Trey) Barnes, G. Furman Barnes III, George F. Barnes, George F. Barnes III and Trey Barnes. Jack Abramoff appears twice -- as Jack Abramoff and Jack A. Abramoff. Should we count them as eight lobbyists, or just two?

Termination reports are another issue. ("Termination" is when a lobbyist files a report stating that he or she is no longer lobbying on behalf of a client.) First of all, we've found that many lobbyists don't file a termination report with SOPR when they change careers, retire or die. Second, SOPR does not delete the names of lobbyists who file termination reports, and for historical purposes, everyone agrees that the old records should be retained. But there needs to be clarity about the number of individuals who are currently registered as lobbyists vs. a historical record about everyone who ever was registered to lobby.

Because our customers want data on lobbyists currently in the workforce, we weed out lobbyists who have terminated relationships with clients. We make calls to confirm information when we see six different versions of the same name. In fact, we update our database every day as we receive information, and we contact both lobbyists and clients to ensure accuracy. Do we make mistakes? You bet we do. Even with our constant checking and follow-up, errors still find their way into our data. But based on our extensive research, we believe that the number of active lobbyists in Washington is nowhere close to the widely reported totals.

Clearly, journalists, members of Congress, the lobbying industry and many others believe that the number of registered lobbyists is important. But if the number being tossed around includes lobbyists who are retired, dead or listed under multiple names, then the scope and scale of the lobbying industry is misunderstood.

I don't have a dog in the reform fight; I simply run a small company that works to present the best possible data on lobbying. If part of the reform effort were to include a provision for SOPR to retain their valuable historical information and to present current lobbying workforce data, the debates about lobbying would be more well-informed. Although such a provision might put my company out of business, I know that policymakers need accurate information about the size, scope and composition of the lobbying industry in Washington. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

Author's e-mail:dmayberry@columbiabooks.com

Debra Mayberry is president of Columbia Books Inc., publisher of several directories listing professionals, including lobbyists and association executives.


Senators Say Ethics Beyond Lobbying Reform

Senators Say Ethics Issue Goes Beyond Lobbying Reform, Extends to Own Behavior

By JIM ABRAMS

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Members of Congress must look at their own behavior as well as lobbyists' if they are to regain the trust of the American public, senators said Wednesday.

At the same time, lobbyists and those who sponsor trips for lawmakers warned against overreacting to the headlines on the influence peddling activities of Jack Abramoff. In particular, they said, banning all privately funded travel could isolate lawmakers from the knowledge they need to write law.

What's clear, said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is that Congress can't tackle the big issues facing the nation without the trust of the public. "And the public's trust in Congress is perilously low."

"Frankly, the status quo stinks and cries out for us to clear the air," Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the committee's top Democrat, said at the first hearing following the Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Leaders from both parties in both chambers have promoted measures to tighten rules and laws governing lawmaker contacts with lobbyists. There are several common themes: restricting or banning the giving of gifts to lawmakers, prohibiting lobbyists from arranging or funding trips, lengthening the time between when a lawmaker leaves office and takes a job as a lobbyist and requiring greater disclosure of lobbyist activities.

But speakers at the hearing also said members of Congress must look at how they do business and get elected, larger issues that could complicate quick passage of the first lobbying reform bill in a decade.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., co-sponsor of one of the major lobbying bills, said Congress must tackle the problem of earmarks, special interest projects that get inserted in larger pieces of legislation, often with the help of lobbyists. "We're not going to fix this system until we fix the earmarks," he said. "It's disgraceful, this process."

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., who is preparing legislation at the behest of the Senate GOP leadership, said his bill might also look at spending by tax-exempt partisan groups known as 527s, a touchy subject because Democrats relied heavily on such groups in the last election.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also noted, in a broader sense, that Congress must look at how lawmakers finance their political campaigns. "Unless and until we address this in an honest fashion, we are carping on trifles here."

In the House on Wednesday, Democrats David Obey of Wisconsin and Barney Frank of Massachusetts said they would introduce legislation to eliminate all private money for House elections, turning instead to public financing. "The problem with politics is more fundamental than meals or trips with lobbyists," Obey said in a statement.

Taking a different approach, Sens. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Wayne Allard, R-Colo., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., unveiled a plan to create an independent commission, similar to the 9/11 Commission, to recommend ethics reforms. "What is at stake here is clearly the credibility of the institution," Coleman said at the hearing.

But Paul Miller, president of the American League of Lobbyists, urged Congress not to respond to the actions of a "few unscrupulous operatives" by impeding the rights of citizens, including lobbyists, to petition Congress and keep members of Congress informed.

John Engler, former governor of Michigan and current head of the National Association of Manufacturers, told the panel that the current system was working, noting that a lobbyist was going to jail and a member of Congress was going to be sentenced. He was apparently referring to Abramoff and former Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., who recently pleaded guilty to bribery.

"Whatever occurs, I think it is imperative that you do not overreact," he said.

Dick Clark, a former senator from Iowa who established the Aspen Institute program for Congress, said it was right for Congress to reject lobbyist involvement in trips. But a total ban on privately funded travel "would be a disservice to members of Congress," he said.

Aspen arranges seminars both inside the country and around the world where members of Congress are required to attend conferences that last six hours a day over four days. It does not pay for recreational activities.

"Foreign travel is essential in an era of globalization," he said. "Insularity is not an option for the world's only superpower."


McCain, Obama settle feud over lobbying reform
Thu Feb 9, 2006 7:21 AM ET

By Andy Sullivan www.reuters.com

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama patched up a feud and pledged on Wednesday to work together to enact new lobbying limits in the wake of the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal.

The Arizona Republican and the Illinois Democrat, who exchanged sharply worded letters this week, told the Senate Rules Committee they both want to reconcile competing measures to reform the pervasive Washington practice of plying lawmakers with donations and favors to try to influence legislation.

"Senator Obama and I are moving on and are continuing to work together and I value his input," said McCain.

Obama put his arm around McCain for the benefit of photographers, and called McCain his "pen pal."

McCain had accused Obama of "partisan posturing" after Obama urged him to consider a reform bill backed by nearly all Senate Democrats instead of an approach suggested by the Senate Majority Leader, Tennessee Republican Bill Frist.

Among the proposed reforms is one that would limit the ability of lawmakers to secretly insert spending measures at the end of the legislative process.

Washington's lucrative lobbying industry has come under scrutiny in recent months since the Abramoff scandal ensnared several prominent Republicans, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.

Abramoff pleaded guilty last month to plying unnamed lawmakers with gifts and travel junkets to win influence for his clients.

RULES CHANGED

The House of Representatives has already changed its rules to ban former members of Congress who become registered lobbyists from its chamber and gym, though Democrats say that will have little effect.

Both McCain's bill and the one backed by Obama would require greater disclosure of lobbying activities and double the "cooling off" period to two years before former members of congress can lobby their colleagues.

The Democratic bill would also ban gifts from lobbyists and prohibit privately funded travel by members of Congress.

Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold said lawmakers should also be required to pay for their own meals.

"If you really want to have dinner with a lobbyist, no one is saying that you can't. Just take out your credit card and pay your own way," he said.

A ban on meals would be "going off the total deep end," countered Mississippi Republican Sen. Trent Lott, who chairs the Rules Committee. "We ought to ban gifts, but the meals thing is going to far."

Several lawmakers said that the practice of inserting last-minute "earmarks" into massive spending bills needs to be brought under control. Documents show that Abramoff tried to use this tactic to win favors for his Indian tribe clients.

Obama suggested that an independent committee made up of retired judges and ex-lawmakers should ensure that the new rules are enforced.

"We can pass all the new ethics in the world but if we don't establish a body that can monitor and enforce those rules it will be very easy to break them," he said.

Lott said his committee will vote on reform legislation in the last week of February.


Feb. 8, 2006, 9:20PM
Lobbying reform turning into an uphill battle on the Hill
•As 2 senators try to bridge their rift over issue, House warns of resistance

WASHINGTON - Lobbying reform, which looked like a sure thing after kingpin lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to corruption charges, is proving more difficult than expected.

Two high-profile senators on Wednesday tried to paper over their dispute on their issue, and GOP House members braced for an airing of their sharp differences at a three-day retreat that begins today.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., testified before a Senate panel that they were committed to working together on reform legislation despite a recent, testy exchange of letters in which McCain accused Obama of injecting partisanship into the issue.

McCain, a potential 2008 presidential candidate, told the rules committee that he valued Obama's efforts to broker a bipartisan agreement.

McCain has proposed making it easier for senators to challenge earmarks, which are projects that lawmakers tack onto spending bills, sometimes at the behest of lobbyists.

Jokingly referring to McCain as his "pen pal," Obama, a freshman and rising star in the Democratic Party, said he not only wanted more scrutiny of earmarks but also to create an independent commission to police the activities of lawmakers and lobbyists.

Obama later said McCain had misunderstood his criticism of a bipartisan lobbying reform task force spearheaded by the Arizona senator.

Obama said his criticism was aimed at Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's remarks that the task force should study the issue; Obama said the matter needed action, not just talk.

But even as the senators pressed their case for changing the way Congress does business, other lawmakers warned they were meeting resistance from many of their colleagues, particularly to a plan to ban privately funded travel by lawmakers.

Immediately after federal prosecutors reached a plea bargain with Abramoff, who may implicate some lawmakers, congressional leaders rushed to offer lobbying reform plans.

But Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a reform advocate, said that in the past two weeks, "we are hearing the sound of furious back-peddling in the corridors of power."

In the House, new Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he has doubts about barring private groups from paying for congressional trips.

The ban is among several measures proposed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., last month.

Boehner was elected to replace Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, whom many Republicans feared had become a political liability because of his close ties to Abramoff.

But Boehner also has links to lobbyists.

He rents an apartment in Washington from a lobbyist whose clients have an interest in legislation overseen by the Education and Workforce Committee, which Boehner had recently chaired, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Lobbying reform is expected to be the major topic for House Republicans during their retreat on Maryland's eastern shore, said Jo Maney, a spokeswoman for Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., who was directed by Hastert to devise lobbying legislation.

The original plan was for the lobbying bill to go to the House floor by March, but no longer. More lawmakers must weigh in first, Maney said.

"Everybody's got opinions," she remarked.


Lobbying Against Lobby Reform
Matthew E. Berger
JTA Wire Service  www.jta.org

FEBRUARY 09, 2006
Washington, D.C.

As plans for lobbying reform trickle down from both political parties in the U.S. Congress, a unified American Jewish establishment is finding itself in an increasingly precarious position.

Jewish groups are already quietly fighting some of the reform proposals, especially the proposed ban on foreign travel paid for by lobbyists, which could prevent groups from sending lawmakers to Israel.

But picking this fight could pit Jewish groups against many of the congressional leaders they often try to court.

The lobbying reform issue may become one of the most important issues of the year for Jewish lobbyists, say community activists.

"The entire Jewish community is mobilized," said William Daroff, vice president for public policy of the United Jewish Communities, the umbrella of the North American federation movement. "There is unanimity of opinion on the value of these trips from a public policy position."

Despite their efforts at quiet diplomacy, the Jewish voice is clearly being heard.

Around Capitol Hill, the debate over foreign travel for lawmakers is being called the "AIPAC question," sources said, noting the reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby.

With congressional Republicans and Democrats each vying to be seen as the strongest on reform, advocates of more moderate lobbying reforms are not being well received in the halls of Congress.

Jewish officials say lawmakers are telling them that the proposals they are seeing now will change, and the end result will likely be legislation that would not restrict all travel.

"Everybody says, 'You probably won't be happy with where the debate starts, but we pledge you'll be happy with where the debate ends,' " said one Jewish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "Neither side wants to be seen as soft on ethics and neither wants to be out-flanked by the other."

Some Democrats want to capitalize on the current attention to the issue, thinking that presenting a tough bill will help them in the midterm elections in November.

Republicans, meanwhile, are hoping quick reforms will neutralize the bad press they have received in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Despite their intense opposition, Jewish groups so far are conducting a quiet campaign, relying on prominent lay leaders and professionals to speak privately to lawmakers.

They are trying to make the case that they need to be able to take members of Congress to Israel to help foster strong support for the Jewish state. They say it is also important to allow lawmakers to travel to other important international locales, like Sudan, and to communities around the United States, to meet with Jewish audiences and see how federal funds are spent.

Jewish organizational leaders have held a series of conference calls in the past few weeks, discussing tactics for opposing the travel ban.

They are focusing on what they're calling "smart reform," advocating for changes to lobbying rules, but against a ban on paying for congressional travel.

Specifically, they are seeking compromises that would allow non-profit groups to continue paying for educational travel.

"We're not talking about a public campaign," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which organized a call last week. "We're all sensitive to the implications and we're in favor of reform."

A number of Jewish groups, including AIPAC, joined a wide range of non-governmental organizations in a letter this week opposing the travel ban, authored by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

"If NGOs are barred from funding educational travel by members and staff, such travel will be feasible only with taxpayer funds or at personal expense," said the letter, sent to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

"If members must travel only at their own expense, the toll of the traveling cost will inevitably lead to minimal travel."

Meanwhile, religious groups are seeking to be exempted from any new lobbying regulations, just as they are exempted from current lobbying restrictions. The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, which set the rules lawmakers currently operate under, allows "churches" to participate in the political process without registering as official lobbies.

A coalition of religious organizations, led by Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, is pressuring lawmakers to continue that practice, sources said.

Saperstein declined to comment.

Crafting a strategy of opposition to the lobbying reforms has been complicated by the numerous plans in the works. Some propose a total ban on privately funded lawmaker travel, others would ban only travel paid for by lobbyists or that includes lobbyists on the trip and still others would ban even separate educational travel programs, like the one AIPAC has established.

AIPAC currently brings registered lobbyists on its trips, a spokesman said. Last year, separate trips were led by Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), then the House majority leader, and Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip.

Democratic aides tried to assure Jewish activists that some travel would be allowed, but have felt pressure in recent weeks to keep pace with the Republican proposal. "They are sympathetic to our concerns, but there is a sense they have to do something about this, and drawing those kinds of lines is not easy to do," said Richard Foltin, legislative director of the American Jewish Committee.

He noted that Abramoff used non-profit groups for some of his trips, which has complicated the line between legitimate and illegitimate sponsors of travel.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), one of two Republican Jews in the Senate, asked about AIPAC travel in a hearing on lobbying reform before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Jan. 25.

"AIPAC does a service in having members go to Israel, when you get to meet with leaders," Coleman said. "That would be bad -- that would be prohibited if we take the approach that's been articulated here. So I don't think that helps us be better senators. "

Observers believe there is likely to be a middle ground, because congressmen want to be able to travel, especially on so-called fact-finding trips.

"If you still allow privately funded travel, but you don't allow the payment of such travel by registered lobbyists, there will be a way for groups to take members abroad for educational purposes," said one congressional official, who asked not to be identified.

"My sense is that groups like AIPAC can figure out a way to put a sign ificant firewall around their educational programs."


McCain Vs. Obama on lobbying reform
An exchange of letters between senators heats up ethics reform efforts

MSNBC Updated: 1:57 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2006

The biggest political story in Washington is the battle between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.  In a blistering letter, Senator McCain accused Obama of, quote, “using the ethics reform issue for self-interested partisan posturing” and apologized for thinking Obama was sincere. 

This is the first time any prominent national politician has publicly criticized superstar Obama.  Why did Senator McCain go after the freshman senator? 

Senator McCain joins Chris Matthews to explain.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST 'HARDBALL': What was your original relationship with Senator Obama on Congressional reform? 

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  Well, my relationship was fine with him.  We had a difference of viewpoint because he sent me a letter that basically said that, as I read it, we weren‘t going to work together.

And he‘d been at a meeting with me and the chairman and ranking member, Senator Collins, Senator Lieberman, as we worked towards lobbying reform, which we have to do.  And then I received a letter that basically said that he wasn‘t going to do that.  Actually, I didn‘t receive the letter before I got pressured for it and so I responded with a little straight talk. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me ask you about the original—it seems to me, looking at the exchange of letters between yourself and Senator Obama, the Democratic senator for Illinois, that you initially put together a bipartisan effort and then he withdrew from the deal and went back and said and told you in no uncertain terms, I‘m not dealing with you anymore in a bipartisan fashion, I‘m going off and going to do this as a Democrat. 

MCCAIN:  Well, I had a conversation with Senator Obama and he said that was not his intention, but the way I read the letter, after I heard from the press that it was on his way, that indeed that that was the case, including touting Senator Reid‘s proposal, which has no Republican sponsors and will not, and we all know that we have to work together.  And so I responded and Senator Obama and I had a conversation, and we agreed to move on. 

MATTHEWS:  Do you stand by your letter back to Senator Obama? 

MCCAIN:  Sure. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, let‘s take a look at it because I think that people will learn a lot from this about—I know you‘re being nice now, but the way in which Obama treated you here.  The first line of the letter—I thought we were going to see this on the prompter here?

“I‘d like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate and our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere.”  You‘re basically saying what here?

MCCAIN:  I‘m saying that I believe that his efforts were sincere at the time.  The letter that I received contradicted that, at least my reading of it, and I don‘t know how you read it any other way, and so therefore I—that‘s exactly what I said.  It was a little straight talk, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, I concluded—there‘s more here.  “I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable.  Thank you for disabusing me of such notions.”  You‘re saying to the guy I thought you were a gentleman and a civil servant and now you‘re obviously not. 

MCCAIN:  Well, I thought it was pretty well written, didn‘t you? 

MATTHEWS:  I think it was tough. Ken Mehlman, the chairman of your party, has gone after Hillary Clinton for being angry, as if there‘s something wrong with it.  This is a letter of a very sophisticated, angry senator.  What‘s wrong with being angry? 

MCCAIN:  I‘m not angry. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, this letter is brilliantly angry. 

MCCAIN:  Well, I wasn‘t angry when I wrote it.  Look, I wrote the letter because I was very disappointed in the letter that I received from Senator Obama, and was told to me by the press. 

Look, this is a pressing issue.  We have to move forward in a bipartisan fashion.  You know and I know that if—the only way you resolve one of these issues is in a bipartisan fashion, and so that‘s why I felt strongly about it. 

In the room where Senator Collins, the chairperson of the Oversight Committee, and Senator Lieberman—and we had all agreed to move forward with her committee as quickly as possible.  And there was reference in the letter to a task force, that frankly we had committed to moving forward with the committee process. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, I worked on the Hill for many years.  I used to notice there was a big difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives.  The Senate was bipartisan by its nature.  It was people that found common ground where they could and didn‘t waste a lot of time. 

The House of Representatives was mainly about taking party positions and seeing who won.  Do you think that Obama is behaving like a House member here rather than a senator? 

MCCAIN:  I hope not.  I hope that he made a mistake and that we can move forward.  And I continue to work with Joe Lieberman and many other senators, because they realize that we‘ve got to get work done on a bipartisan basis.  Have times changed?  Of course they have changed, and for the worse. 

MATTHEWS:  OK, we‘re hoping to get Senator Obama to come on and talk about how you‘re going to work together.  But are you—have any confidence now that he will join your bipartisan effort? 

MCCAIN:  Well, I hope so.  We have agreed to move forward and that‘s what‘s important at this point, and we‘ve probably provided enough entertainment for a while. 

MATTHEWS:  That letter that you sent, and we were beginning—I‘m not going to quote any further from it.  I think we caught the gist or tone of it.  Senator, do you stand by this letter? 

MCCAIN:  Sure. 

[McCain and Obama letters below]

McCain's Letter to Obama
February 6, 2006
The Honorable Barack Obama
United States Senate
SH-713
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Obama:

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.

As you know, the Majority Leader has asked Chairman Collins to hold hearings and mark up a bill for floor consideration in early March. I fully support such timely action and I am confident that, together with Senator Lieberman, the Committee on Governmental Affairs will report out a meaningful, bipartisan bill.

You commented in your letter about my “interest in creating a task force to further study” this issue, as if to suggest I support delaying the consideration of much-needed reforms rather than allowing the committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The timely findings of a bipartisan working group could be very helpful to the committee in formulating legislation that will be reported to the full Senate. Since you are new to the Senate, you may not be aware of the fact that I have always supported fully the regular committee and legislative process in the Senate, and routinely urge Committee Chairmen to hold hearings on important issues. In fact, I urged Senator Collins to schedule a hearing upon the Senate’s return in January.

Furthermore, I have consistently maintained that any lobbying reform proposal be bipartisan. The bill Senators Joe Lieberman and Bill Nelson and I have introduced is evidence of that commitment as is my insistence that members of both parties be included in meetings to develop the legislation that will ultimately be considered on the Senate floor. As I explained in a recent letter to Senator Reid, and have publicly said many times, the American people do not see this as just a Republican problem or just a Democratic problem. They see it as yet another run-of-the-mill Washington scandal, and they expect it will generate just another round of partisan gamesmanship and posturing. Senator Lieberman and I, and many other members of this body, hope to exceed the public’s low expectations. We view this as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to the Congress, and, most importantly, to show the public that both parties will work together to address our failings.

As I noted, I initially believed you shared that goal. But I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party’s effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn’t always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.

Sincerely,
John McCain
United States Senate

Obama's letter to McCain
February 6, 2006
The Honorable John McCain
United States Senate
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear John:

During my short time in the U.S. Senate, one of the aspects about this institution that I have come to value most is the collegiality and the willingness to put aside partisan differences to work on issues that help the American people. It was in this spirit that I approached you to work on ethics reform, and it was in this spirit that I agreed to attend your bipartisan meeting last week. I appreciated then - and still do appreciate - your willingness to reach out to me and several other Democrats.

For this reason, I am puzzled by your response to my recent letter. Last Wednesday morning, you called to invite me to your meeting that afternoon. I changed my schedule so I could attend the meeting. Afterwards, you thanked me several times for attending the meeting, and we left pledging to work together.

As you will recall, I told everyone present at the meeting that my caucus insisted that the consideration of any ethics reform proposal go through the regular committee process. You didn't indicate any opposition to this position at the time, and I wrote the letter to reiterate this point, as well as the fact that I thought S. 2180 should be the basis for a bipartisan solution

I confess that I have no idea what has prompted your response. But let me assure you that I am not interested in typical partisan rhetoric or posturing. The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you nor my willingness to find a bipartisan solution to this problem.


Sincerely,
Barack Obama
United States Senator

Watch 'Hardball' each night at 5 and 7 p.m. ET on MSNBC. 

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive www.msnbc.com
 

Boehner Suggests New Tack on Lobbying
Emphasis Would Be on Disclosure

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 4, 2006

House
Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has begun shifting his party toward an alternative lobbying reform package that stresses disclosure of lobbying contacts rather than the virtual ban on gifts and privately funded trips proposed last month by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

In an interview yesterday, Boehner emphasized that he has no plan to change lobbying rules and will not draft one until he can reach a broad consensus with House Republicans, possibly at a retreat on Maryland's Eastern Shore next week. But he was quick to say the proposals that Hastert and House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) put forward are not the Republican Conference's plan.

"We don't have a package," he said. "There are some ideas that the speaker and Mr. Dreier have put out. They are very good ideas. I know Mr. Dreier is working in a bipartisan way to refine those proposals, and until then it's a work in progress."

The lobbying plan is probably the first hurdle Boehner faces as he seeks to bring together a fractured Republican Conference and cope with a growing congressional corruption scandal. As a sign of the abrupt shift in leadership since Boehner was elected Thursday to succeed indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) as majority leader, House leadership aides who helped draft Hastert's initial response said it will have to be pulled back.

"This is something we refer to as a false start," a senior aide said, acknowledging that Hastert and other leaders had backed the Republicans into a no-win situation. The leaders can either push forward with a plan most Republicans oppose, or they can scrap it and read that they backed off the toughest reform proposals.

"This is the problem the rank and file has with the leadership," the aide said. "They feel they don't get listened to. They get these knee-jerk reactions they don't like, but now that it's been rolled out, if we don't do it, we'll get criticism all over again. That makes them even angrier because they see it as self-inflicted."

Boehner's upset victory over acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) sprang in large part from Republicans' fears that they had to distance themselves from DeLay's leadership if they are to survive the midterm elections in November. The corruption scandals have already led Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) to plead guilty to bribery charges and resign, forced Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) to give up his committee chairmanship, and snared a guilty plea from former lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- and Republicans are scared.

In the closed-door electoral conclave Thursday, Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) summed up that trepidation when first he told the conference he feared retribution for what he was about to say, then continued: "Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, and the ongoing and disgusting saga of abuse of power and public trust are not just made up by the Democrats," according to a transcript of the speech released by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.). "Our entire philosophy is at risk because the American people, and even a large percentage of our own supporters think we have been corrupted."

That is not how Blunt saw it.

"The five or six people that will talk to the media about what bad shape we're in are not reflective of 225 of their colleagues," Blunt told the Associated Press yesterday.

"I don't want to say the media is to blame but . . . if you can find a story that focused on anything but change, you come and show it to me," he said.

The old leadership team's response to the scandal is already in for some changes.

Where those leaders sought to separate lawmakers from lobbyists, Boehner will emphasize the immediate disclosure of contacts between lobbyists and lawmakers, allowing the voting public to decide whether those contacts are proper. And he will tackle what many Republicans see as the root of the lobbying problem -- the ease with which lawmakers can dole out millions of dollars in favors through pet provisions in spending bills.

Boehner said he endorsed only "in concept" a bill by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that would make every such provision -- or "earmark" -- subject to challenge on the House or Senate floor. But he did say: "We need less numbers of earmarks. I think they've grown out of control, and we need more transparency -- where they come from, what their purposes are -- and we need more accountability."

Hastert's proposal to end all privately funded trips, even those funded by well-known nonprofit organizations such as the Aspen Institute, would be counterproductive, Boehner said. Members could be required to seek preapproval from the House ethics committee of any trip, he said.

But, he added, "members need to understand what's happening in the world. They need to understand what's happening with industry. That won't happen if they're locked up in a cubbyhole here in the Capitol."

Boehner called for the disclosure of any meal or gift from a lobbyist within 24 hours, both by the lawmaker and the lobbyist.

"If you can't go out and justify a $60 meal and see it in the press, then maybe you shouldn't go," he said. "But if you can, go ahead and do it, and let the world see what that relationship was. I think that's a far smarter way to go about this."

The lobbying industry should be better regulated, Boehner said, and he pledged to convene a House task force in hopes of creating federal rules that incorporate the most effective measures already in place in the states.

Those proposals are receiving mixed reviews from watchdog groups. If Boehner's task force produced an independent public integrity board patterned after those in many states, that could be the most effective proposal so far, said Mary Boyle, a spokesman for the watchdog group Common Cause.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company


APPENDIX V

Brussels acts to avoid Abramoff-style lobbying scandal

27.01.2006 - 16:00 CET | By Andrew Rettman

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission hopes its new transparency initiative can prevent an Abramoff-type lobbying fiasco in Europe, but EU institutions face suspicion under the current system.

"The commission is taking steps to avoid a European Abramoff scandal," administration commissioner Siim Kallas stated on Thursday (26 January) at a seminar in Brussels.

He added that public opinion of EU financial management is "negative, to put it mildly" with anecdotes flying around that "decisions are made under the influence of invisible hands."

US lobbyist Jack Abramoff three weeks ago pleaded guilty to bribing US officials and politicians in what the Washington Post called "the biggest political corruption and bribery scandal in a generation."

"If we have the same scandal, it would be extremely bad just to react," Mr Kallas indicated. "We cannot stop bad things from happening, but we can say, look, if something happens, we have preventive measures, we have reaction mechanisms."

He said most internal commission cases handled by OLAF, the EU anti-fraud watchdog, relate to public procurement and foreign aid while the volume of common agricultural policy (CAP) probes is "quite small."

Mr Kallas also showed concern that MEPs are introducing amendments and voting in line with corporations, stating that some members represented "the interests of particular ports" in the recent defeat of an EU port services bill.

Meanwhile, the head of the commission's professional ethics unit, Donatienne Claeys-Bouuaert, said her staff is merely "human" and it is hard to say if, for example, the "petits cadaeux" given by lobbyists at the end of the year should be declared or not.

"To offer a bottle of wine or ten bottles of wine is not necessarily corruption," the official, who gives mandatory ethics classes to new administrators, said.

Light on new measures
Mr Kallas’ new transparency measures aim to: get all member states to disclose end-recipients of EU farm and cohesion aid; create a common code of conduct for all EU institutions and create an EU-wide register of lobbyists to show "who is doing what on behalf of whom."

The timetable for the project is unclear.

He hinted the lobbyists' register will be purely voluntary, saying "mandatory legislation, heavy bureaucracy is not in our plans so far."

Mr Kallas indicated the measures have met with internal hostility with "people in several circles saying we don't need additional transparency, everything is OK, what's the problem?"

The commissioner added that the UK and Denmark's revelations in 2004 and 2005 that most CAP funds go to big firms and royal families rather than struggling farmers "initiated an electric debate about the rationality of the European subsidy system."

The transparency project is the third major ethics push in Brussels since the Eurostat scandal of 2003 and the Santer commission’s resignation in 1999.

The subject got extra attention after revelations last Spring that commission president Jose Manuel Barroso took a free yacht holiday from a shipping baron friend.

EU Abramoff impossible, lobbyists say
Brussels lobbyist association SEAP claims an Abramoff-type EU scandal is impossible however.

SEAP founder Rogier Chorus explained that unlike Europe, US politicians woo lobbyists to mobilise funds for policies, with a lot more money sloshing around in Washington than in Brussels.

US firms spent €2.4 billion on lobbying in 2004, while the closest thing to an estimate of the Brussels sector is a commission figure that Brussels lobbying firms generate income of €60-90 million a year.

Mr Chorus said that in SEAP's eight year history the association’s voluntary code of conduct has never been broken and that he does not know of any Brussels lobby fraud cases outside SEAP either.

"There is no scandal to talk about, in fact we are talking about things which are not there," he said.

Transparency International Belgium director Francois Vincke remarked that "We all know by now that having a code of conduct is fine, but implementing it is another matter."

Another Brussels lobby association, EACON, also painted a less rosy picture.

EACON partner Soren Haar said Brussels has several lobbying cultures: the British work via individual companies and PR consultancies; the French and Germans rely on trade federations while southern and Mediterranean countries use "informal networks, persons you know, even families."

Mr Haar indicated new member states sometimes display a "lack of lobbying culture" behaving in Brussels along similar lines as under the former communist regimes.

EUobserver.com - Brussels,Belgium

 
 
Brussels lobbyists agree to registration regime

By Andrew Bounds in Brussels - Financial Times - London,England,UK
Published: January 27 2006

Brussels’ biggest lobbying firms have agreed to a US-style regulation regime as the fall-out from the Jack Abramoff scandal sweeps across the Atlantic.

The European Public Affairs Consultancies’ Association has dropped its longstanding opposition to registration and public disclosure of clients as pressure builds in the wake of the criminal case against the Washington lobbyist.

John Houston, chairman of Epaca, said on Friday: “We have no problems with declaring our clients and registering. As to whether fees should be declared, we have an open mind.”

Under the US system lobbyists must file details of their clients and how much they are paying. Lobbyists in Brussels are unregistered and operate self-governing codes of conduct that cover only a fraction of their number.

Epaca, whose 31 members include global companies such as Burston Marsteller and Weber Shandwick, represents 600 of the estimated 15,000 lobbyists in the EU capital. The true figure is unknown because of the lack of regulation.

Mr Houston said other groups that lobbied, such as lawyers, accountants, non-governmental organisations, think tanks and trade unions, should follow suit.

While the European Commission has been leading the drive for greater transparency in how its decision-making is influenced, Mr Houston also called on it to tighten rules for staff dealings with lobbyists. “It is our feeling there is too much discretion for officials over contact, and there is a need for a little more clarity.”

There are numerous cases of officials leaving the EU executive and immediately turning their knowledge to lucrative use for consultancies. They need only seek the Commission’s permission, which is rarely denied.

Erik Wesselius, of ALTER-EU, a coalition of 140 groups advocating reform, welcomed Epaca’s change. “They have moved much further and faster than we expected,” he said. His group would now discuss with the Commission and Epaca a common code and the setting up of an independent European Public Affairs Council.

Siim Kallas, European administration commissioner, who will next month publish a consultation paper on lobbying and transparency, has said he prefers a compliance-based regime to a rules-based one. “A European Abramoff affair would be catastrophic in terms of public perception. The Abramoff affair also shows that mandatory rules alone are potentially worthless.”

Pressure will now grow on the European parliament. Many MEPs and their researchers have close ties to companies that are not always declared when drawing up legislation.



Analysis: "Lobbying is outdated"

EurActiv.com - Brussels,Belgium

In this analysis Dr. Stefan Schepers from the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) shows how lobbying has evolved historically.

 

LOBBYING IS OUTDATED
 

Since time immemorial, people have sought to bring their points of view to those in power, in the hope that they will take account of  it when taking decisions which will affect them. Even in authoritarian forms of government, lobbying exists, albeit more hidden. In liberal democracies, it is a fundamental right of citizens, and of all social and economic actors, to be heard by public decision makers. Moreover, it is a necessity, because the complex realities of today require as much knowledge as possible to manage them effectively.

 

Lobbying as we know it today is closely linked to the nature and the development of the modern state, from the late 18th  - early 19th till the late 20th century. The modern state emerged out of  the market regulatory needs of the industrial economy, and its basis in science, technology and trade. It was based on the rationalist philosophy of Enlightenment, which envisaged the possibility of determining the public interest in a way not unlike scientific research in order domains, through analysis, linear cause and effect  determination and choice of instruments for problem solving.

 

As long as the role of the state was limited, this method of government served industrial progress well. Lobbying was limited, and of a pre-modern kind, through social networks within the ruling political and economic elites. An increasing role of the state led inevitably to more complex decision making, hence the need for involvement of more social actors, in order to understand the issues and to provide solutions which would find a social consensus. Still, until the middle of previous century, it remained an activity without much professionalism, in the old fashioned social networking mode and an occasional public campaign.

 

But Keynes’s view of the role of the state as a more interventionist manager of the economy and the provider of social welfare to all, made necessary not only by the political danger of the social instability, but also by the needs of a consumption based economy, would change this. Governments started to interfere in ever more societal fields, and all sorts of civic actors felt a need to lobby for their views and interests, the more so since the political system started to emulate more and more the offer and demand approaches of the economic market. Gradually, a new profession would emerge, focussed on influencing law making on behalf of those affected by its future implementation.  

 

This profession found its origins in the law making profession, which tried to add influencing law making into its traditional role of application of rules; and in the public relations business, where public affairs became a specialist branch, focussed on communication with the political and civil service class, and using methods copied from commercial communication. The two continue to mix, but since a couple of decades, public affairs has become a profession of its own, seeking increasing professionalism through research and specialist publications. It is not,  however, a formally recognised profession, because it lacks the specific academic and regulatory requirements.

 

Lobbying as practiced today is still much influenced by the dichotomist view of the state and the market, itself a result of  the conceptual foundations of the modern state (the abstract public interest as distinct from private interests) and of the ideological views of the role of governments in society (more or less market oriented).

 

But Europe is changing rapidly. The post-industrial economy has given rise to a post-modern state, which has returned a large number of economic tasks to the market (privatisation of state owned companies), and which is focussing on the mechanisms of attribution of resources and redistribution of wealth typical of the welfare state, and as the guarantor and regulator of market functioning. It has transferred a significant number of competencies to the European Union, whose semi-federal nature is in essence a form of collective execution of a limited number of the Member State’s tasks, in particular its key market regulatory roles.

 

In particular, the EU has become the strategic policy making system for its Member States, which depend for their welfare state functions on the successful management by the EU of the  commercial market functions. But the scientific and technological and economic advances of the last decades, and the deep social paradigm changes which have taken place, require also fundamental innovations in the way supra-national and national governance systems operate.

 

New long term common political objectives, such as sustainability, or fair trade, or research and innovation, and many others, all require a new approach to policy making, both conceptually and procedurally. The traditional bureaucratic and hierarchical approaches must give way to consensus and compromise building. This requires collective public-private learning processes, negotiation, market mechanisms, public and private (voluntary) rules, in order to widen the scope of policy-making from a narrow analytical one to the multi-dimensional scenarios of the real world.

 

In these rapidly emerging, new political and economic realities, lobbying in the antagonistic style, that is marketing a particular view or interest, often backed up by public campaigns and spin doctoring, will have to give way to a new approach. There is a need today of a broker function between the public interest and the private one, facilitating the collective learning processes with both public authorities and private interests, in order to reach solutions which combine the public objectives with the requirements of a competitive market economy and of liberal democratic societies.

 

Just like the networking style of lobbying has gradually withered away, the time has come for a new qualitative step. Lobbyists should become a sort of management consultants, seeking new methods for collective learning and compromise building, in a permanent bridge building role, combining (instead of opposing) public and private interests. In order to achieve a sustainable economy and to maintain its competitiveness, two official goals of the EU, governance systems have to adapt again, as they did at earlier historic shifts, and those operating at the public-private crossroads have to change in parallel, or become irrelevant relics of a bygone system. The next few years of incremental systemic change will tell if they are up to the challenge, like their clients and public authorities themselves. But there is a win-win situation for Europe if these transformations succeed.     

 

Dr Stefan Schepers, Hon. Director General

European Institute of Public Administration, Partner EPPA © EBA, 2006.


EU probes Luxembourg tax breaks for multinationals

Friday, February 10, 2006

BRUSSELS - Reuters

  The European Commission said it was launching an investigation into a law that has helped to make leading financial center Luxembourg a tax haven for multinationals.

  The law giving tax breaks to multinational companies' units that deal with financing, licensing and management has been partly responsible for drawing some 180 banks from 25 countries to the Grand Duchy of just 450,000 people.

  The European Union's executive arm is concerned that such tax exemptions could constitute state aid that does not benefit economic development, the commission said in a statement. "It is time to review this old-fashioned regime favoring multinational groups setting up their financial activities in Luxembourg, as it appears it may unduly affect the functioning and competitiveness of the EU's financial industry," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said.

  The Luxembourg government said it had already agreed to end tax measures that could be harmful to corporate tax competition by 2010.

  "Now we understand the commission is only looking at this on the grounds of state aid, which is obviously a completely different thing from corporate tax. We will look into it and give an appropriate response," a government official said.

  The 1929 law was originally established with the aim of distributing profits within a multinational company without it incurring multiple taxation.

  The commission believes "the globalization of financial markets and modern regulatory framework for financial services have rendered the 1929 legislation obsolete."

  "Now it's 2006 and it's high time it was stopped," Kroes' spokesman Jonathan Todd told reporters.

  The Luxembourg Bankers' Association says the sector employed 29,000 people, or about 10 percent of Luxembourg's national working population, at the end of 2004.

  The sector accounts for more than 25 percent of the Duchy's economic activity and 40 percent of tax revenues, the lobby group says on its Web site.

  This is the first step in a formal infringement procedure by the commission that may eventually lead to court action if Luxembourg decides to dispute the commission's viewpoint.

  The commission had already presented recommendations to Luxembourg to review the tax, after a three-year preliminary investigation, but the small Benelux country rejected the measures.


EurActiv.com - Brussels,Belgium Jan. 30, 2006

Analysis: Transparency for lobbyists: "Should Europe import a Little American Sunshine?"

Steven Billet, Chief of Staff at the Grad School of Political Management at the Georgetown University, outlines the advantages and deficiencies of the American lobbying disclosure system and discusses how applicable it is for the EU.

Steven Billet, argues that "it would be folly to suggest that the EU regime for transparency in lobbying might work well if it simply imported the principles and particulars developed in the US over the last several decades" due to difference in culture, values and institutional systems. 

The author explains that, on the one hand, "Americans embrace the general notion that the public's business should be conducted in full sunshine". On the other hand, he points out that the US system still has weaknesses, despite its lobbying disclosure rules, as recent scandals such as the Abramoff affair demonstrate. 

In this context, Steven Billet differentiates three types of weakness in his article and discusses what the EU can take from all this. 

FULL  TEXT:

The EU Transparency Regime for Lobbyists: Should Europe import a Little American Sunshine?

Dr. Steven Billet

It would be folly to suggest that the EU regime for transparency in lobbying might work well if it simply imported the principles and particulars developed in the US over the last several decades.  The most superficial consideration quickly exposes the misalignment of values, culture and institutional details between the jurisdictions.  No doubt too, that the US system is far from perfect.  The recent wave of scandal centered on the abuse of congressional gift rules demonstrate that America’s tightly constructed gift rules were of little value when lobbyists and politicians consciously set out to evade, subvert and contravene the very laws they passed.  But the US has had lobbyist registration for ten years and the strengths and deficiencies of their system might have heuristic value for any government considering its own system.

Philosophy and Rationale

US rules for lobbyist registration are largely contained in the 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act.  Three principles underpin the system.

·        All lobbyists are required to register

·        Lobbyists must list their employer (or clients) and the issues they work

·        All information is a matter of public record

The rationale is fairly simple and makes sense in political settings committed to openness and transparency. 

·        Government officials are public servants. > ·        Citizens have a right to know what interest groups are doing with public officials. 

While the right of individuals and groups to petition their government is protected (as it is in nearly every democratic setting), this protection is not and should not include a right to conduct their activities in a surreptitious manner.  Americans embrace the general notion that the public’s business should be conducted in full sunshine.

Weaknesses

The US lobbying disclosure regime has a number of shortcomings, however.  First, is the fact that it does not require that all of the activities associated with modern iterations of lobbying and advocacy be reported or that the people conducting these activities be registered.  This is most notable for “indirect” lobbying techniques like grassroots campaigns, Internet advocacy and many forms of activity that fall under the rubric of public relations. These activities, often critical elements in more comprehensive advocacy campaigns, were exempted from the requirements of the Lobbying Disclosure Act for reasons too involved to chronicle here.  Grassroots and other indirect lobbying activities are generally intended to mobilize significant parts of the population that then communicate directly with public officials, petitioning lawmakers in favor of their positions.  These grassroots petitions are often quite effective since the mobilized individuals are perceived by lawmakers as the most precious of US political commodities, voters.

A second deficiency in the regime results from the lack of an effective regulatory body.  Lobbyists register with, and report twice annually to the Clerk of the US House of Representatives and the Secretary of the US Senate.  Yet these two bodies are little more than collectors of documents, having no independent authority to sanction or prosecute violations.  In cases where transgressions are suspected, the Senate and House organizations simply refer the cases to the United States Attorney for investigation.  The lack of an independent regulatory authority produces other problems.  Neither organization, for instance, has ever issued definitive rules that prescribe formulas for calculating and attributing expenses associated with the operation of lobbying offices in Washington.  Some very basic questions are left to the creativity and imagination of lobbying organizations.  For example, is it necessary to include all or a part of the cost of operating the mailroom of a large corporate public affairs office?  If so, what percentage should be attributed since some of the activity conducted there has nothing to do with lobbying?  The result, I’m afraid, is that every lobbying organization comes up with its own particular formula to calculate its expenses.  It may or may not use the same formula in consecutive reporting periods, making comparative analysis impossible both within and between reporting organizations.  

A final problem with the US lobbying disclosure rules relates to the frustrating lack of detail provided in the reports. The issues of concern to the group are listed, but their relative importance is not. No breakdown of how much is spent on each issue is provided.  One can make an educated guess about which members of Congress were lobbied based on a reading of the issues, but there is no record provided of exactly which members and staff were seen or how often they were contacted. A listing of registrants is normally included in the report, but little or no detail of their activities is provided.

Of course, lobbying registration is only one part of the Washington political landscape.  Other sets of regulations and laws address important parts of the relationship between lobbyists and public officials.  Anti-corruption gift rules, focus of the recent Abramoff scandals, and campaign finance regulation are important parts of the Washington regulatory regime, defining and further conditioning the nexus between lobbyist and politician in critical ways. There is no real coordination among these arenas and this too weakens the US transparency regime. 

What might the EU take from all this?  As much or little as it likes.  Certainly, the lack of an effective regulator limits the effectiveness of oversight and investigation efforts in the US.  This regulatory shortfall should be understood and avoided.  At the same time, the principles that guide the US system, grounded in a commitment to openness and transparency, might have value in any jurisdiction where citizen engagement and the credibility of public institutions is important.

Dr. Steven Billet is the Chief of Staff at the Grad School of Political Management at the George Washington University where he teaches courses in international advocacy and PAC management.  During his previous career at AT&T, he lived in Brussels and served six years as the regional public affairs director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. 

IMPORTANT REMARK
'Analysis' documents are commentaries by external contributors. EurActiv - as a neutral platform - does not state policy positions of its own. Any opinions in 'Analysis' documents are those of the author only.


APPENDIX VI
History of Washington Scandals

The investigation into lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others is the latest in a series of Washington corruption scandals that have rocked the nation's capital.

"My own judgment is that this could be the biggest [lobbying scandal] that we have seen in our lifetimes," congressional scholar Norman Ornstein has said. "This may involve a more institutional corruption scheme that could have great resonance."

As in the past, revelations of indiscretions and possible corruption have prompted political parties to unveil reform packages. The stories of influence peddling and the calls for reform are part of an occasional cycle of corruption scandals that have plagued Washington since the close of the Civil War.

Crédit Mobilier
Up until the late 19th century, the nation's capital was still a sleepy, southern town where congressmen lived in boarding houses that doubled as remote offices. With their families back in their home districts, and few cultural outlets in the federal city, legislators often loitered in clubs and hotel lobbies for social gatherings.

It was during this time that President Ulysses S. Grant coined the term "lobbying" to refer to the representatives of corporate interest groups who would mingle among lawmakers. But these cozy relationships soon led to scandal.

Thomas DurantIn 1872, the New York Sun revealed that several influential congressmen were involved in a government contracting scheme with a dummy railroad firm, Crédit Mobilier. Thomas Durant, a vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad, created Crédit Mobilier of America as a front for increasing its shareholders' profits. In 1864, the company was given a no-bid contract to build a 667-mile stretch of the Transcontinental Railroad, with much of the cost being paid for by federal subsidies.

All of this was thanks to the work of Massachusetts Republican Rep. Oakland Ames. Ames had gained influence as a key member of the committee devoted to laying down railroad track during the Civil War. In exchange for support of giving contracts and subsidies to Crédit Mobilier, Ames sold shares to his fellow congressmen at prices significantly below market value. When Crédit Mobilier's profits skyrocketed during the railroad boom, executives and congressmen alike reaped millions of dollars in profits. It is believed that Crédit Mobilier received $47 million in contracts, turning $21 million in profit.

When the Sun broke the story on the eve of the 1872 election, House Speaker James Blaine, R-Maine, directed a committee of 13 congressmen to investigate the matter. Based on their findings, the House of Representatives censured Ames and Whig James Brooks of New York. Other implicated politicians included outgoing Vice President Schuyler Colfax, incoming Vice President Henry Wilson, and then-congressman and future President James Garfield.

In the wake of the Crédit Mobilier scandal, among other smaller controversies, the House passed its first laws regulating lobbying. Under the rules passed in 1876, lobbyists had to register with the clerk of the House. Three years later, in order to prevent lobbyists from posing as journalists, members of the press had to register as well.

Teapot Dome: Corruption in the executive branch
Although Congress attempted to reform lobbying, the growing voice of people who termed themselves "progressives" in the country demanded more and expressed deep misgivings about those seeking to influence legislation.

"Washington has seldom seen so numerous, so industrious, or so insidious a body [as lobbyists]," said President Woodrow Wilson in 1913.

Yet it was Wilson's successor, Warren Harding, who suffered from the next major bribery scandal. The Teapot Dome scandal implicated Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall and ruined the legacy of the short-lived Harding presidency.

Teapot Dome investigation. Photo Courtesy of Senate Historical OfficeOver the course of previous administrations, the federal government established emergency petroleum reserves in Elk Hills in California and Teapot Dome in Wyoming for use by the Navy. In 1923, the Public Lands Committee of the Senate began investigating the oil reserves and discovered both had been illegally leased to oil tycoons by Fall.

Fall is believed to have received more than $300,000 in bribes, but refused to answer questions before the Senate, claiming fear of self-incrimination. E.L. Doheny of the Pan-American Oil Co. confessed before the committee that he had given Fall a $100,000 "loan," among other gifts, for rights to the Elk Hills reserves. Harry Sinclair of Sinclair (Mammoth) Oil was also implicated in the scandal, but declined to cooperate, was charged with contempt and fined $100,000.

Fall continued to fight prosecution until 1929, when he was also fined $100,000 and spent a year in jail.

At the time, Democrats believed that they could take political advantage of the scandal, but Doheny's testimony hurt them as well. A significant figure in the Democratic Party in California, Doheny implicated several Wilson administration officials in his appearance before Congress. Doheny also admitted to paying the presumed presidential candidate for the 1924 election, William McAdoo, payments totaling $250,000.

Abscam and the Keating Five
In 1978, the Federal Bureau of Investigation embarked on a sting operation, labeled Abscam, in which agents posed as Middle Eastern businessmen offering bribes to senators and congressmen. The FBI targeted 31 government officials in total during the operation, including state officials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Six congressmen, Democrats John Jenrette of South Carolina, Raymond Lederer of Pennsylvania, Michael Myers of Pennsylvania, John Murphy of New York and Frank Thompson of New Jersey, and Republican Richard Kelly of Florida, and one senator, Democrat Harrison Williams of New Jersey, were convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges in 1981.

Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania also was indicted but not prosecuted because he gave evidence against Murphy and Thompson. Only one lawmaker, Republican Sen. Larry Pressler of South Dakota, refused to take the bribe, saying at the time, "Wait a minute, what you are suggesting may be illegal."

Abscam agenctsKelly initially had the conviction overturned when a judge ruled the sting amounted to illegal entrapment, but in 1984, a higher court sentenced Kelly to 13 months in prison. Kelly was famously caught on videotape packing his pockets with $25,000 in cash, asking the undercover agents, "Does it show?"

But as opposed to Abscam tarnishing Congress, it was the FBI that dealt with much of the long-term scrutiny as investigations into their probe brought up the entrapment issue. After Abscam, there have been no published accounts of efforts to catch lawmakers in the act, rather the focus became investigating wrongdoing after the act.

The Keating Five scandal from 1989 implicated five senators in another corruption probe. Democrats Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, Donald Riegle of Michigan, John Glenn of Ohio and Alan Cranston of California, and Republican John McCain of Arizona, were accused of strong-arming federal officials to back off their investigation of Charles Keating, former chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan association. In exchange, the senators reportedly received close to $1.3 million in campaign contributions.

The Senate Ethics Committee concluded that Glenn and McCain's involvement in the scheme was minimal and dropped the charges against them. In August 1991, the committee ruled that the other three senators had acted improperly in interfering with the Federal Home Loan Banking Board's investigation.

DeConcini and Riegle did not run for re-election in 1994 and were succeeded by Republican Sens. John Kyl and Spencer Abraham.

House banking scandal
The more recent significant corruption scandals have centered on abuses of power, as opposed to the bribery, influence-peddling controversies of the past.

In 1992, many House members were suspected of bouncing checks from accounts they held at the so-called "House Bank" -- a loose operation that allowed member of Congress to cash their checks but kept shoddy records and often were quite delayed in recording deposits or withdrawals.

Although the lawmakers had broken no laws and many did not even know they were bouncing checks, several took advantage of the bank system and many voters viewed the scandal as a blatant abuse of power.

Of the 296 sitting representatives and 59 former members who had overdrafted their personal accounts in the preceding 39 months, the House Ethics Committee released a list of the 24 worst abusers. Twenty were Democrats, although Republican Rep. Tommy Robinson of Arkansas was the worse offender, with 996 overdrafts.

Congressional Democrats attempted to explain that the scandal was a problem with the banking system, not their party.

Conservative columnist David Gergen said on the NewsHour at the time, "[The Democrats] let it get out of control. That's the critical charge against the Democrats. When you're in power too long, you become arrogant."

Republican leaders used the scandal to accuse all Democrats of corruption and abuse of power. Republican Minority Whip Newt Gingrich of Georgia would make reforming Congress part of his Republican revolution of 1994 that gave his party a net gain of 54 seats in Congress and the GOP control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

With the latest scandal, party leaders are rushing to reform the institution and its rules.

--Compiled by Brian Wolly for the Online NewsHour

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/law/corruption/history.html


Jan. 6, 2006
Abramoff Case Draws Deeper Look into Lobbying
The guilty plea of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff has thrown the spotlight on lobbying in Washington.

Jan. 4, 2006
Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Miami
A day after pleading guilty on three charges in a deal with prosecutors, former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in Miami to federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges.

Jan. 3, 2006
GOP Lobbyist Abramoff Pleads Guilty
Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion, and agreed to cooperate in a probe that may implicate members of Congress.

Dec. 30, 2005
Justice Department Investigates Possible Corruption
A reporter discusses the background of Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a far-reaching congressional corruption scandal.

Nov. 21, 2005
Former DeLay Aid Enters Guilty Plea
Michael Scanlon, a former press aid to Rep. Tom DeLay and former partner to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty in a government investigation on conspiring to bribe public officials. Two reporters discuss the case.


Appendix VII

See The Section Below For The Underlined Words

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

  • A 
  • Ad: Advertisement.
  • Academic integrity: A principle guiding institutions of higher learning who are dedicated to the pursuit of truth.
  • ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union. A public interest group devoted primarily to the defense of civil rights and liberties granted by the U.S. Constitution (i.e., the ACLU supports the separation of church and state, and opposes prayer in schools).
  • Act: A bill that has been passed by a legislature (ex: U.S. Congress) and signed by an executive (ex: the President).
  • Activist: A self-motivated person who is strongly committed to a cause, or political party, and takes vigorous action on its behalf. Activists are often the core of many organizations and are the members who are best informed concerning the activities of the organization, and have the greatest expectations. Grassroots activism is a pillar of civil society and a means for lobbies to advance their interests. Related term: citizen activists.
  • Administration: The U.S. president, his cabinet, and other political appointees. Can also mean the process of managing agencies, departments and other organizations.
  • Advertising: The use of advertisements and advertising techniques which creates publicity. An effective tool of lobbyists. Announcements, short films, brochures, and other methods employed in the media are used by advertising agencies for PR and to make political issues publicly known. Advertising agencies can also undertake market research on behalf of clients.
  • Advertising agency: These agencies provide advertisers with a wide range of communications services such as copywriting, art, production, market research, media planning and buying, public relations, and sales promotion. Although advertising and PR are two different disciplines, many ad agencies promote themselves as "marketing communications" firms who provide both public relations and advertising services (note: while advertising agencies pay the media to present their message,  PR firms do not pay for coverage in the media since PR firms rely on a greater number of communication tools).
  • Advocacy: The act of arguing in favor of a particular point of view, or action. Advocacy means being a voice on issues that matter to people. Lobbying is sometimes defined as advocacy of a point of view, either by groups or individuals.
  • Advocacy group: An organization arguing in favor of a particular political agenda or point of view.
  • Advocate: Someone who gives active support and who argues in favor of a particular cause, course of action, or set of beliefs.
  • Affirmative action: Practices to remedy the effects of past discrimination against minority groups by granting special benefits to members of the groups which suffered. There are many programs and quotas for hiring African-Americans, women, and minorities.
  • African-American: People of African decent in the U.S. who are also called blacks.
  • Agenda: A political or ideological set of goals or objectives; a political program. Also a list of topics for discussion.
  • Alien: For immigration purposes, you are an alien if you are not a U.S. citizen.
  • Allegation: An assertion or statement yet to be proved (such as the so-called Armenian genocide, which can also be referred to as the alleged Armenian genocide.
  • Allege: To affirm without necessarily being able to prove. Alleged, or a allegedly.
  • Ally: To unite in an alliance. Allies, allied.
  • Amendment: A change or addition to a bill, or formal document, which is under consideration by a legislature (constitutional amendments, such as the Bill of Rights, have been made to the U.S. Constitution). In the U.S., lobbying is an activity protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, which is the right to "petition the government for redress of grievances."
  • American Indian: A member of any of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, or South America.
  • Anti-defamation: To counter and prevent an attack to a person's (group or organization) good name or reputation. To fight libel and slander.
  • Anti-Semitic: Generally defined as anti-Jewish (although not all Semitic people are Jewish). Anti-Semitism in political terms is the discrimination against or persecution of Jews.
  • Apportionment: A computation of the number of legislators that will serve a given number of citizens. The U.S. Constitution requires that each state have two senators and a number of representatives based on population. The House of Representatives was fixed at 435 seats by Congress in 1929.
  • Argument(s): A series of ideas, each one supported by materials, used to advance a particular position about an issue. A stated position, with support for, or against an idea or issue. An argument is a set of statements that allows you to develop your evidence in order to establish the validity of your claim. An argument usually begins with a premise or claim, leads to evidence, and comes to a conclusion.
  • Assemblée Nationale: Legislative power in the Republic of  France is vested in the Assemblée Nationale, along with the Senate.
  • Assertion: A claim that one advances with an insistence that it is truthful.
  • Assimilation: To become absorbed, to adjust, or become similar.
  • Attitude: Sentiments, beliefs, positions held such as political attitudes. The way a person views something, or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way, or with a positive or negative feeling.
  • Asylum: Temporary or permanent refuge granted by a state, on its territory, to a person seeking sanctuary from the jurisdiction of another state. Temporary asylum is based on the U.N.-sanctioned legal principle of "non-refoulement," which prohibits a state from expelling asylum seekers back to their countries of origin, where their life or freedom may be endangered, while their applications for permanent asylum are pending. Asylum seekers are entitled to full protections of their basic human rights as spelled out in international conventions.
  • B 
  • Backlash: A negative response to new political or social developments (such as the reaction of whites to affirmative action and the integration of blacks and whites at school).
  • Ballot: Ballots are votes cast in an election. A printed list of political candidates.
  • Bequest: Donation given in a will.
  • Bias: Unreasoned distortion of judgment or prejudice about a topic.
  • Biased: A source whose opinion is so self-serving or slanted that it may not be fair or objective.
  • Bicameral: Legislative bodies that are composed of two chambers.
  • Bigot (bigotry): A person who is intolerant of the beliefs of others, particularly those of minority groups. Many ethnic groups fight bigotry.
  • Bill: Proposed legislation. A bill which is passed by the U.S. Congress becomes a law when signed by the president.
  • Bill of Rights: The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (the 10 amendments were ratified in 1791, with others added at later dates). Many constitutions have bills of rights protecting certain vital civil liberties. One of the most inspirational bills of rights is the 1789 French "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen." See Bill Of Rights Section
  • Bipartisan: Agreement on policies between the two major parties in the U.S. (Republicans and Democrats).
  • Brainstorming: The process of generating ideas while thinking creatively and imaginatively and not being critical of what is produced.
  • Budget: A financial plan about future expenses, operations, and income.
  • Bundestag: The lower house in Germany. Legislative power in the Federal Republic of Germany is vested in the Federal Assembly, along with the Bundesrat (Federal Council).
  • Bureaucracy, bureaucrats: The administrative departments of government. Also refers to formal inefficient complex administrative procedures, known as "red tape," which makes it difficult to take action in response to problems and issues.
  • C 
  • Cabinet: In the U.S. the cabinet consists of the heads of the executive departments who are appointed by the president.
  • Call to action: Request that an audience engage in some clearly stated behavior.
  • Campaign, campaigning: A series of coordinated activities designed to achieve a political goal. Candidates run in congressional, senatorial, and presidential campaigns. They can also be divided into local, state, and congressional campaigns. See USA Contribution Limits Section
  • Campaign committee: A fund-raising organization created mainly to win elections. Committee are also created in the name of individual candidates.
  • Campaign finance reform: The changes that American political campaigns have undergone, or are undergoing due to campaign finance laws. Since the reforms of the 1970's regulation of campaign finance is still being debating. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, along with numerous amendments, set new contribution and spending limits, made provisions such as for government/public funding of presidential campaigns, and required reports of contributions and expenditures to be filed with the Federal Election Commission.
  • Candidate: A person running for political office and seeking election. Also referred to as a delegate, for example in a primary, or contestant in a race.
  • Canvass: To determine the feelings and opinions of people (such as voters before an election) especially by conducting a survey. To canvass can also mean to solicit and request advertising, orders, votes, etc, usually from a geographic location.
  • Capitol Hill: The seat of the U.S. government which is the number one target of lobbyists. Capitol Hill consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Caucus (congressional): Association of members of Congress based on party, ideology, interest, or demographic characteristics such as race, gender and ethnicity. A caucus can also be described as an informal issues group which promotes a particular policy or interest (which can be based on common positions, businesses, industries, political affiliation, ethnicity, etc.). Some of the most influential in Congress are the Greek caucus, Armenian caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Caucus on Women's Issues and Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The Turkish caucus is quite new and only emerged after 2001.
  • Caucus (political): A forum of a political or legislative group to select candidates, plan strategy, or make decisions on legislative matters. Contemporary party caucuses are local party meetings in which citizens discuss and then vote for delegates to district and party conventions. Prior to a presidential election some states hold caucuses rather than primaries in order to endorse candidates.
  • Cause: A cause can be considered a motive, a justification, or grounds for enthusiastic commitment to some form of action.
  • Censorship: Censorship is the control of what can be said, written, or published in any way, and is an attempt to impose conformity on views and behavior. It can be described as a policy or program of suppressing or eliminating what is thought to be unacceptable and not serving the interests of those who have the ability to use censorship. Censorship conflicts with the most vital values of democracy, such as freedoms of speech and the press. In many countries the press is a target of censorship, especially at a time of war, unrest, social strife, or conflict. Censorship is also a means of shaping public opinion. In open societies, where information is not usually subject to censorship, the use of the mass media to convey political demands serves as a means of communication with decision-makers. In the area of national security, all countries retain powers of censorship (i.e. the British Official Secrets Act) but such powers are not often used other than in times of war or national emergency. Due to the requirement for military secrecy, restrictions have been placed on "imbedded" journalists covering the Iraq war. In support of freedom of information, and the public's right to know, the media seeks fewer restrictions. Censorship may also be used to prevent the dissemination of extreme views such as racial hatred, to protect rights to privacy, and in the fight against child pornography.
  • Census: An official periodic count of a population, including information as sex, age, occupation, etc.
  • Centrist: A person holding moderate political views. Centrism is a noncommittal stance in politics.
  • Charity: The giving of help, money, food, etc., to those in need. An institution or organization set up to provide assistance to those in need.
  • Citizen: A native registered or naturalized member of a state, nation, or other political community. Citizenry refers to citizens collectively.
  • Citizens' groups: These groups are similar to lobbies because they function as a pressure group. They seek to secure political objectives which are in the interests of people other than themselves. Citizens' groups often attempt to help society as a whole, acting as advocates on behalf of the public and as watchdogs. These associations are sometimes called "promotional groups" based around an idea or sometimes a single issue, with no occupational basis of membership.
  • Civics: The study of the roles, rights, responsibilities of citizenship and government. Citizenship education.
  • Civil disobedience: Nonviolent civil disobedience takes place when activists protest peacefully against laws they believe are unjust. Activists are usually willing to accept arrest as a means of demonstrating the justice of their cause.
  • Civil liberties: The freedoms of speech, press, association, and religion. In many countries these liberties cannot be infringed upon by the government except if justified by a compelling public interest. Civil liberty is the right of an individual to certain freedoms of speech and action.
  • Civil rights: The rights of the citizen (such as the right to vote or right to a trial) that the government is required to protect. The personal rights of the individual citizen, in most countries upheld by law.
  • Civil service: The service responsible for the public administration of the government of a country. It is the body of people employed by the state to implement policy and apply the laws and regulations made by the executive and legislature. Members of the civil service are appointed rather than elected, are supposed to be non-partisan and have no political allegiance, and are not generally affected by changes of government.
  • Civil society (civil society institutions): Autonomous institutions representing organized groups that are voluntarily organized by society, which come together to advance their common interests through collective action. Refers to the totality of civic and social organizations, or the network of institutions, that operate independently from government or the state, which advocate and take action primarily for social development and public interest. Some definitions include businesses and social movements. Civil society can be organized at the local, national or international level. The growing interest in civil society has become a global trend. Since the 1990's, civil society has emerged in countries where communism collapsed. The development of civil society, and expression of divergent interests of NGO's, is coming to be seen as a significant criterion of the development of democracy. Civil society is made up of civic groups such as NGO's, private voluntary organizations, citizens' groups, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, trade unions, civic clubs, charities, humanitarian and disaster relief organizations, social and sports clubs, cultural and religious groups, environmental groups, ideological groups, professional associations, academia, educational bodies, parents and teachers associations, policy institutions, lobbies, the media, consumer organizations, senior citizens' groups, issue-based activist groups, and organized local communities. The UN and EU are giving civil society institutions a voice at the policy-making tables around the world. As Cold War ideological paradigms dissolve, we are witnessing an expansion of civil society from national to global civil society.
    Centre for Civil Society definition: Civil society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. In theory, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state, family and market, though in practice, the boundaries between state, civil society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated. Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power. Civil societies are often populated by organizations such as registered charities, development non-governmental organizations, community groups, women's organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, trades unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy group.
  • Civility: Concern and care for others, the thoughtful use of words and language, and the flexibility to see different sides of an issue.
  • Claim: Assertion that must be proved.
  • Clash of civilizations: An article written by Prof. Samuel Huntington and published in 1993 in Foreign Affairs arguing that the central and most dangerous dimension of the emerging global politics would be conflict between groups of differing civilizations. In Huntington's book published in 1997, a second important theme was added: "...an international order based on civilizations is the surest safeguard against world war." Some analysts of global affairs believe that World War III is soon to begin, and wonder what will be the role of Turkey. Others do not foresee any clash of civilizations, but some see a desire to ignite a war of religion (by viewing Islam as hostile to the West, or by arguing the West is hostile to Islam).
  • Client: In a lobbying context, the organization or the person hiring a professional lobbyist.
  • Coalition: A collection of separate political components, often within Congress. Such an alliance of diverse interest groups or political factions may not be long-lasting. The process of gathering such groups is called "coalition building" and is a strategy used by lobbies.
  • Code of ethics: The culture of an organization is determined by the collective and individual acts of each person. The values, fairness, and ethical conduct of organizations, lobbies, institutions, and people (which in an NGO will determine the success of that organization, since members, volunteers, staff and the community must be able to place their trust in it). Codes of ethics and legislation that regulate lobbying in the U.S. Congress and EU institutions are being debated in 2006, along with reforms, and new regulations for lobbyists.
  • Co-decision procedure: A procedure introduced by the Maastricht Treaty to reinforce the role of the European Parliament in the legislative process (the Treaty entered into force in 1993).
  • Committee: A subdivision of Congress that deliberates and then reports to the full chamber that the committee belongs to. They can also be divided into subcommittees that hold hearings and investigate proposed legislation before they are recommended. In an election contest, both the Republicans and Democrats have committees whose main purpose is to ensure the party's candidates are successful in elections.
  • Common good: The term describes a goal or an object of policy that is in the interests of everyone in a society. It is related to terms such as "public interest" and "general will."
  • Common ground: Similarities, shared interests, and mutual perspectives.
  • Communications: To impart knowledge, exchange information and ideas. Different techniques and methods are used by communications experts.
  • Community: The people living in one locality. Also refers to a group of people having cultural, religious, ethnic, or other characteristics in common. Can also mean the public in general, society.
  • Community relations: Planned activity with a community that highlights the interests of the community, and perhaps the interests of an organizer or PR firm.
  • Concurrent resolution: A resolution used to express the feelings of the U.S. House and Senate, which have no law making authority (these resolutions are designated H.Con.Res. or S.Con.Res.).
  • Congress: The legislature of the U.S. Bicameral federal legislative power in the United States of America is vested in the Senate (with 100 Senators, two from each of the 50 states) and the House of Representatives (with 435 representatives apportioned according to population). Members of the Senate are elected for 6-year teams, while members of the House are selected for 2-year terms. Although all these representatives are members of Congress, it is customary to refer only to members of the House as Congressmen or Congresswomen, while members of the Senate are referred to as Senators. In general terms, a congress is a meeting of representatives of officials for debate and discussion. See US Congress Section
  • Congressional district: An electoral division of a U.S. state entitled to send one member to the House of Representatives.
  • Congressional hearings: Formal, judicial-like proceedings conducted by administrative agencies and congressional committees to gain information pertaining to individual cases or broader public issues.
  • Congressional record: The government journal that publishes all proceedings of Congress. While Congress is in session it is published daily. It includes floor debates and the remarks of members.
  • Congressman/Congresswoman: A member of Congress, especially the House of Representatives. Members of the House are elected for 2-year terms, while members of the Senate are elected for 6-year terms.
  • Constituents: Members of the district from which an official is elected. The people served by a representative or senator.
  • Constituency: A legislative district or the residents of such a district. The elected public official is in pubic office as a result of the support, financial backing, and votes of his or her constituency.
  • Constitution: Any written or unwritten framework of government that has the force of fundamental law.
    See US Constitution Section  European Union Constitution Section
  • Consulting: Consulting is done by a "consultant" who is a specialist that gives expert advice and information. The consultant acts in an advisory capacity on professional matters. In addition to management consulting, the proliferation of political consulting firms demonstrates the increasing professionalization of electoral politics. One controversial issue is that these profit-making firms may have no base or interest in the candidate's constituency or home district, and often take the place of established party organizations and traditional volunteer campaign staff.
  • Contribution: To give support (money, ideas, etc) for a common purpose or fund. People who give money are known as "donors" or "contributors." Individuals and most organizations in the U.S. are restricted in the amount of money they can give directly to a candidate in one year. To see the contribution limits of a person per election to a candidate for federal office, the national political party committees, PAC's, or to a campaign committee See USA Contribution Limits
  • Controversy: Dispute, argument, or debate, especially one concerning a matter about which there is strong disagreement, and especially one carried on in public or in the press.
  • Convention: National nominating conventions are the most important conventions held in the U.S. During these partisan gatherings the party faithful present their agenda and nominate leaders which will seek to win upcoming elections.
  • Corporate contributions: Since the early 1900's corporations have poured millions of dollars into campaigns. Campaign finance laws have sought to regulate the contributions made by corporations.
  • Copyright law: Copyright is the protection of creative work from unauthorized use. In the case of "Work for hire," the work that is produced by a writer, photographer or artist, will be owned by the company (which has a contract for the work for hire).
  • Council of Europe: An intergovernmental consultative organization with 45 countries representing 780 million people (based in Strasbourg, founded in 1949). Much of its work is concerned with human rights, education, culture, cooperation, and reform in eastern and central Europe. The  European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is an organ of the Council of Europe, and is concerned only with cases brought under the European Convention on Human Rights (the Council of Europe has no power to make laws, and it is not an institution of the EU). Turkey became a member in 1949.
  • Counterarguments: Arguments against the speaker's own position.
  • County: Any of the administrative subdivisions of certain states.
  • Credibility: The extent to which a speaker, organization, etc,  is believed to be competent and trustworthy.
  • Cultural sensitivity: A conscious attempt to be aware of and acknowledge beliefs, norms, and traditions that differ from one's own.
  • D 
  • Debate: A discussion where opposing arguments are put forward. A formal discussion of skill and reasoned argument in which opposing arguments are put forward by debaters.
  • Debatable: In dispute. Open to question.
  • Decision-making: The act of making a judgment, conclusion, or resolution.
  • Declaration of Independence: The proclamation of the independence of a newly formed or reformed independent state. The U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia by the thirteen U.S. colonies. See US Declaration Of Independence
  • Defamation: Defamation is any false statement about a person or people (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule, or inflicts injury on reputation. To attack, accuse, and cause injury to a person's, or a groups, good name or reputation. There are two forms of defamation: libel and slander. A person filing a defamation suit usually must prove that: (1) the false statement was communicated to others through print, broadcast, or electronic means; (2) the person was identified or is identifiable; (3) there is actual injury in the form of money losses, loss of reputation, or mental suffering; and (4) the person making the statement was malicious or negligent. Related words: libel, slander. Related terms: free speech.
  • Delegates: Party loyalists selected by their local parties to represent their states at the national conventions.
  • Demagogue: A person who gains power through impassioned public appeals to the emotions and prejudices of a group by speaking or writing.
  • Demographics: Statistical characteristics of a given population (i.e. age, gender, ethnic or cultural background, socioeconomic status, income, occupation, education, religious and political affiliation).
  • Deportation: The act of expulsion from a country's territory.
  • Devil's advocacy: Arguing for the sake of raising issues or concerns about the idea under discussion.
  • Diaspora: The Jewish communities outside Israel. Also refers to the dispersion or spreading of people originally belonging to one nation or having a common culture (such as the Armenian Diaspora).
  • Diplomacy: See "Public Diplomacy."
  • Disclosure: Something that is revealed.
  • Discrimination: Unfair treatment of a person, racial group, minority, etc. Discrimination is action based on prejudice.
  • Discussion group: A group of people who exchange messages about particular topics. Often associated with newsgroups, discussion groups can also take the form of interactive message boards, thread message forums, and e-mailing lists.
  • Disinformation: Purposefully incorrect information. Information and material that is based on falsehoods and untruths. The deliberate falsification of information. Related term: misinformation.
  • Dissent: Disagreement. Strongly held opposition to an issue or policy, either by a forceful minority or by the majority.
  • District: A congressional district is the local geographic area served by a member of the House of Representatives.
  • Diversity: The state or quality of being different.
  • Domestic policy: Actions and policies that are undertaken by a government for internal governing.
  • Donation: Contribution.
  • E 
  • Economic migrant: A strict reading of a 1951 U.N. convention on refugees limits the right of asylum to so-called "political" refugees -- those seeking a safe haven from political persecution in their home countries. The motives driving many immigrants today, however, range from poverty and famine to civil war, ethnic conflict and ecological catastrophes in their homelands. Under pressure to act tough on immigration policy, many European governments deny asylum to such migrants, claiming they are driven more by a desire for greater economic prosperity than by a well-founded fear for their life and freedom. In countries that make the distinction, only 10-20 percent of asylum seekers are granted permanent refugee status, according to the U.N. The issue of whether economic migrants should be considered legitimate refugees is a highly charged one in many European countries
  • Election: The selection by vote of a person or persons from among candidates for a position, especially a political office.
  • Electioneering: The attempt by lobbies to influence the outcome of elections by advancing the campaigns of friendly politicians or trying to bring about the defeat of hostile opponents.
  • Electoral College: The process set up by the U.S. Constitution by which the U.S. president and vice-president are elected. In each state people elect a number of electors equal to the number of U.S. senators and representatives for that state. The electors from each state meet in their respective state capitals after the popular election to cast votes for president and vice-president. The presidential candidate winning the plurality of vote in a state receives all its Electoral College votes. Therefore, the president of the U.S. is not chosen by voters themselves, but by the "Electoral College" voters which is the body of electors chosen by the voters. It is this body which formally elects the president and vice-president. There are 538 Electoral College voters, one per senator and representative from each state. The District of Columbia, which has no congressional representation, has three votes. Electoral College voters usually cast a ballot for the candidate who wins the popular vote. A candidate must receive a majority of 270 votes to win the election. If a vote ends in a 269-269 tie, the election goes to the House of Representatives. Critics of the electoral college maintain that the majority does not rule and that swing states take on too much importance. The Elector College received worldwide attention when George W. Bush became president in 2000 although he lost the popular vote.See USA Elections

  • Electorate: All of the eligible voters in a legally designated area.
  • Emigration: Migration from your native country in order to settle in another.
  • Empathy: Trying to see and understand the world as another person does.
  • Empowerment: To enable, or to give power or authority. To give the ability. Having power means having the ability to choose among alternatives, to influence decision-making, and to exercise control over situations.

  • Enacted: When a bill becomes a law (the bill is then called "an act").
  • Endowment: The source of income that an institution is provided with.
  • Envoy: An accredited agent, messenger, or representative.
  • Ethics: (see "Code of Ethics")
  • Ethnic: Of or relating to a people whose unity rests on racial, linguistic, religious, historical, or cultural affinities and ties. Relating to the classification of mankind into groups. A member of an ethnic group can have certain traits in common with other groups (often racial, religious, or linguistic). Racial, cultural, historical affinities, or almost anything can be used to create 'ethnic' divisions or groupings.
  • Ethnic lobby: An interest group whose unity rests on racial, linguistic, religious, historical, or cultural affinities and ties.
  • Ethnic minority: An immigrant or racial type regarded by those claiming to speak for the cultural majority as distinct and unassimilated.
  • Ethnocentrism: The belief that one's own ethnic, religious, political or cultural group are superior to those of others. An assumption that everyone shares the same point of view.
  • Eurasia: The land mass of Europe and Asia.
  • European Commission: The executive arm of the EU which seeks to uphold the interests of the EU as a whole. The European Commission 1) proposes legislation, policies and programs of action, 2) is responsible for implementing the decisions of Parliament and the Council, and 3) supervises how funds are spent. The seat of the Commission is in Brussels. Members are appointed by the member states to serve for 5 years. The Commission acts as the EU's executive body and as a guardian of the Treaties. The Commission has the right of initiative and thus can put proposals to the Council of Ministers for action. Decisions on legislative proposals are taken in the Council of Ministers. The Commission also represents the EU on the international stage
  • European Council: A summit of  the Heads of State or Government, held at least twice a year in the capital of the member state that currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU (which rotates every 6 months). The summits set priorities and give political direction, as well as work to resolve contentious issues. Objectives include formulating common policy in the fields of justice and home affairs, as well as foreign and security matters. (not to be confused with the "Council of Ministers" or the "Council of Europe")
  • European "Council of Ministers": The Council of Ministers is the EU's principle decision-making body, and the only institution which directly represents the member state's national interests. It has both executive and legislative powers (the former delegated in many areas to the European Commission, and the latter in some cases exercised jointly by co-decision procedure with the European Parliament). All EU member states are represented by their foreign ministers within the Council of Ministers, which reflects the views of the EU's 374 million citizens. Members strive to resolve differences and coordinate their national policies. Each member state of the EU has an embassy in Brussels to manage the country's dealings with various EU institutions, to lobby, and to have direct involvement in the legislative process through the Council of Ministers. The Court of Justice (based in Luxembourg, established in 1951) is the final arbiter in disputes arising from the Community Treaties, or the legislation based upon them, and is empowered to review the legality of legal instruments adopted by the Council of Ministers or the Commission, and certain acts of the European Parliament.
  • European Parliament: The EU Parliament, whose seat is in Strasbourg, France, represents the EU's citizens. It shares with the Council the power to legislate, exercises democratic supervision over all EU institutions, and shares with the Council authority over the EU budget. There are over 625 members of the European Parliament (MEP's), elected every 5-years, who belong to almost 100 political parties. MEP's represent a range of interests and blocks, such as the Greens, Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, liberals, conservatives, communists, etc.
  • European Union (EU): The 25-member EU is founded on the existing European communities set up by the Treaties of Paris (1951) and Rome (1957), supplemented by revisions, the Single European Act in 1986, The Maastricht Treaty on European Union in 1992, and the draft Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997. Two years after Winston Churchill called for a "united states of Europe," a Congress of Europe was held in 1948 in The Hague with nearly 1,000 Europeans from 26 countries. This resulted in the birth of the Council of Europe in 1949. The aim of this European assembly of nations was "to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realizing the ideals and principles which are their common heritage." After a proposal in 1950 by the French foreign minister, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Paris establishing the "European Coal and Steel Community." This agreement was regarded as the first step towards a united Europe. After the success of the ECSC, plans were made to establish two more organizations: the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC). As a result these treaties encouraged the establishment of a common market with a customs union. During the last 30 years the EU is undergoing a process of enlargement and integration as it seeks to strengthen its institutions, the rights of its citizens, the freedom of movement, and plans to develop economic and monetary union along with a common foreign and security policy.
  • Eurosceptic: A person who is not convinced that further integration and enlargement with other EU members is desirable, or workable. There are a range of other definitions, often used for those who are cautious, opposed, or do not see the future of the EU in a favorable light.
  • Evangelism (evangelicals): Activities of certain Protestant groups that involve fervent preaching of the Gospels with the goal of converting those outside the faith to evangelical Christianity. Evangelical leaders established the Christian Coalition in 1989. (see "Moral Majority")
  • Evidence: Supporting material that provides grounds for belief. Fact and opinion used to support a particular view or perspective about a subject. Examples, testimony, narratives, statistics and facts gathered to justify a position can be used to substantiate or prove a point of view and lead an audience to agree with a thesis statement.
  • Example: Specific instance used to illustrate a concept, issue, experience, or problem.
  • Executive: The branch of government that has responsibility for carrying out laws and policies.
  • Expenditures: To spend, to disburse, to consume, or to use up. Often refers to money.
  • External affairs: The international concerns of a country such as international law, foreign relations,  international trade and commerce.
  • F
  • Fact: Documented occurrences, including actual events, dates, times, places, and people involved. A verifiable observation, experience, or event known to be true.
  • Fair comment (versus defamation): Some offensive communication falls under the "fair comment" defense (example: a negative review by a film critic).
  • Fair use (versus infringement): It is important to know were "fair use" ends and "infringement" begins. Fair use means that part of a copyrighted article may be briefly quoted with attribution to the source (other conditions apply to material used for educational purposes, or to copyrighted material if it is to be used in ads and promotional brochures where permission is required). Registered trademarks, logos, etc, are also protected by law.
  • Fairness: An ethnical ground rule; making a genuine effort to see all sides of an issue; being open minded.
  • Fallacy: An argument that seems valid, but is flawed, because it contains unsound evidence or reasoning.
  • Far right: An extreme fringe of the Right usually advocating the use of coercive power to impose its own views and suppress all dissenting ideas. Also known as the radical right.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC): PAC's, candidates, and congressional committees must follow laws of the Federal Communications Commission when advertising on television or radio.
  • Federal Election Campaign Acts FECA): Laws that regulate contributions and spending, as well as other requirements for lobbyists. Although efforts at regulation were made earlier, recent campaign finance reform in the U.S. began with the landmark legislation that was passed in 1971, known as the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which replaced the older Federal Corrupt Practices Act (an example of earlier efforts at regulation). The new law established detailed spending limits and required fuller disclosure of political funding. Numerous amendments have been made by Congress since 1974.

  • Federal Election Commission (FEC): The FEC is responsible for enforcing campaign finance rules and administering election laws and public financing program for the public interest. The FEC was established by the FECA Amendments of 1974, as part of the campaign finance reforms of the era. The act set limits on contributions, required disclosures and uses of funds for federal elections, and provided matching public funds for presidential primary and general elections. Amidst the changes, the Amendments also revised the law related to political contribution from individuals from abroad. Foreign nationals and people working under a federal government contract cannot give contributions to federal candidates (except foreign nationals who have a green card). In addition, foreign nationals can not give money to support local or state campaigns. After 1974, any individual who is not a U.S. citizen and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in the Foreign Agents Registration Act) is prohibited from contributing. Almost all countries restrict or ban contributions from foreign sources.
  • Federal government: The Framers of the U.S. Constitution based the U.S. system of government on the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances so that no person, or group of persons, would have too much power. The government is divided into three branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial (some circles refer to lobbying as the fourth branch of the American government). The Federal government has authority in matters of general taxation, treaties and other dealings with foreign countries, the armed forces, foreign and inter-state commerce, crimes against the U.S., bankruptcy, postal service, coinage, weights and measures, patents and copyright, and has sole legislative authority over the District of Columbia and the possessions of the U.S.
  • Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act: Until the 1946 Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act, lobbyists remained unregulated in any significant way. The measure simply required lobbyists to disclose whom they lobbied for, and how much they received.
  • Federalism: A government system in which constitutional authority is divided between a central government and state or provincial governments. Federalism is the ability of both state and federal governments to make their own laws.
  • Financing: To raise or provide funds or capital for.
  • Focus group: A moderated discussion among a small group of respondents on a particular topic (often used by party strategists to explore the thinking and emotions lying behind people's attitudes). A focus group can be comprised of a group of persons (representative of the audience a public relations practitioner, politician, marketer, etc. seeks to reach), who are asked to give their opinions of proposed programs. For example, a focus group can be made-up of Hispanics between the ages of 18-21, who are used to canvass a representative sample of a larger group of people on some question.
  • Foggy Bottom: U.S. Department of State, which deals with foreign relations.
  • Foreign affairs: International law, international trade and commerce, and relations with other countries.
  • Foreign agent: A person or a firm (lobbyist) who is hired by a foreign country, corporation, or organization to lobby Congress. Foreign agents must register and periodically disclose specified information (such as funds received from a foreign principal to represent their interests). (see "Lobbying USA")
  • Foreign Agents Registration Act: Lobbyists who represent the interests of foreign countries on Capitol Hill, or with the executive branch, are subject to disclosure regulations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. These lobbyists are also subject to other lobbying regulations, such as the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1994.
  • Foreign policy: Actions and policies that are undertaken by a government regarding external relations.
  • Foundation: An institution founded through an endowment and supported through the future with that endowment. Foundations are tax-free and can award tax-free grants for specific philanthropic purposes.
  • Funding: Government grants or private sources of money, from the public or the private sector.
  • Fund-raising: To gather a sum of money and other resources.
  • G 
  • Generalization: Error in reasoning when a conclusion is reached without enough evidence to support it.
  • Genocide: The deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group by means of murder, serious bodily harm, or mental harm. Genocide was defined as a crime by the United Nations General Assembly in 1951 (the international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention & Punishment of the Crime of Genocide). As a consequence of the Nuremberg trials (conducted by an international tribunal), in which top Nazi leaders were tried for "crimes against humanity," the UN drew up a treaty defining and criminalizing genocide. The Convention was adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1948, and came into effect on January 12, 1951.
  • Geo-strategy: A branch of geo-politics that deals with strategy. The combination of geopolitical and strategic factors characterizing a particular geographic region. Also can mean the use by a government of strategy based on geopolitics.
  • Geopolitics: The term was first coined in the 19th century, and has come to mean international strategy, taking into consideration the strategic needs and problems of major powers.
  • Gerrymander: To draw the lines of political districts to favor particular groups, usually the political party in power. The division of voting districts to give one group an advantage over the other.
  • Global civil society: The extension of civil society from national to global, regional and transnational forms, involving the development of globalist culture, ideology and politics. Greenpeace is an example of the emergence of a transnational civil society with a globalist orientation. Many organizations with a global orientation foster universal values. They may also seek ethnical approaches to international relations and fighting world poverty, oppose weapons developments and war, and strive for humane globalization and global governance.
  • Globalization: Refers to the way in which global economic relations are interlinked and now transcend national boundaries (includes a wide range of subjects, such as legal frameworks, national sovereignty, transnational institutions, multinationals, NGO's, and information  dissemination).
  • Government affairs: PR activity relating directly with legislatures and regulatory agencies on behalf of an organization. Lobbying can be part of a government affairs program.
  • Grassroots: The power of ordinary people in influencing their political leaders.  When average citizens seek to express their views by contacting their representatives about issues of public concern (often individuals are urged to do so by grassroots lobbying activities). Grassroots is the base or fundamental root of political power; in a democracy, it is the people. The term grassroots is often used to refer to average citizens. Related terms: Grassroots lobbying, grassroots activism, grassroots mobilization.
  • Grassroots lobbying: This is an attempt through collective action to influence legislation and/or to affect the opinions of the general public. Some grassroots lobbying tools include: "Calls-To-Action," press releases, sending "Action Alerts" to the media, targeting the media with PR campaigns, coalition building, advocacy advertising, bulk faxing, organizing calls to representatives, computerized direct mail, and letters from the public to EU officials and/or members of European Parliament, the White House, and governmental regulatory agencies. Grassroots lobbying occurs when an organization asks the public to support, oppose, or otherwise influence legislation by contacting elected and appointed officials. A grassroots lobbying effort is usually triggered by a "Call-To-Action" which directs ordinary people to act in a certain way. NGO's often send out an action alert to the media, public, donors, and other NGO's asking them to support their advocacy position and urge them to take a specific action. In contrast, "Direct Lobbying" occurs when an organization communicates its position with regard to legislation, or legislative proposals, directly with legislators, legislative staff, executive branch officials, and executive staff.
  • Grassroots mobilization: Grassroots mobilization takes place when actions are taken to organize ordinary citizens with the aim of putting them in motion. These actions aim to gain support for a specific lobbying need or for advocacy purposes. Grassroots activities and mobilization may attempt to shape public opinion that is favorable to a desired legislative goal (or against it) by encouraging members of a group to call, or write, to their representative, or to visit their district representative or state senator. Therefore, grassroots mobilization involves organized and coordinated efforts by lobbies to encourage constituents to contact their representatives by writing letters, sending faxes and e-mails, gathering in public, and using other lobbying tools. Indirect lobbying by the Turkish lobby requires effective grassroots mobilization.
  • Groupthink: The tendency of a group to accept information and ideas without subjecting them to critical analysis. When a group conforms to a single frame of mind and chooses a solution without fully and objectively examining other potential solutions.
  • Gubernatorial: Relating to a governor, such as a gubernatorial election.
  • Hard money: Campaign contributions that go to a specific candidate's campaigns. Money raised and spent (from individuals, PAC's, or party committees) is subject to strict regulations by the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and other entities. Individuals can make contributions of up to $37,500 each year to all federal candidates, political parties, and political action committees.
  • Hate speech: Any offensive communication (verbal or nonverbal) directed against people's race, ethnicity, religion, or other characteristics.
  • Hearing: A session, usually of a committee or subcommittee, to gather information and hear testimony. A formal, judicial-like proceeding conducted by U.S. administrative agencies and congressional committees to gain information pertaining to individual cases or broader public issues.
  • Hegemony: The domination or rule of one actor over others. In civil society, the cultural, ideological and political dominance of a social class or group, or bloc of social classes or groups.
  • Heritage: Something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth, such as a cultural or ethnic heritage. Something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor.
  • Hispanic: Being a person of Latin American descent living in the U.S. (especially one of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin). Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic minority in America, and might not be called a minority in the near future. In the past many Cubans lived primarily in Florida, Puerto Ricans lived mainly in the Northeast, and Mexicans lived mostly in states which border Mexico, such as Texas and California. Today large communities of Hispanics are found in almost every state. Dominicans, Haitians, and other people from the Caribbean region, as well as Central and South American groups, also have sizable representations. Millions of these people, however, lack legal residency status and are referred to as illegal aliens or undocumented workers.
  • Hot pursuit: A legal doctrine that permits the pursuit of persons (suspected of criminal conduct) escaping from one state to another (by land or by sea). Since the mid-1980’s, hot pursuit has enabled Turkey to conduct cross-border operations into northern Iraq as part of a fight against terrorism (and to stop infiltration into Turkey from this area where PKK terrorist bases are located). Turkey is eager to conduct further unilateral and joint operations with U.S., Iraqi, and other security forces.
  • House of Commons: The lower house of parliament in the United Kingdom. In Europe the development of democracy over the centuries is tied to the growth of power of parliament over the monarchy.
  • House of Lords: The upper house of parliament in the United Kingdom.
  • House of Representatives: There are 435 members elected every second year (apportioned according to the population of each state). Unlike the Senate whose members are elected for six years, the entire House of Representatives membership faces re-election every two years.
  • Houses of Congress: Refers to both the Senate and House of Representatives.
  • Human rights: Enunciated at Helsinki, they include: "the right to be free from governmental violations of the integrity of the person..."; "the right to the fulfillment of such vital needs as food, shelter, health care, and education..."; "and "the right to enjoy civil and political liberties..." International and local human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, monitor countries across the world.
  • Hype: The promotion of a product, person, company, movie, etc., through shrewd use of the media.
  • Hyphenated Americans: Some times used when referring to groups or people of different origins living in the U.S. (such as Italian-American, Irish-American or Turkish-American).
  • Identity: The distinguishing character or personality of an individual or group. Ethnicity, ethnic politics, and ethnic conflict have raised socio-political questions tied to national identity in many countries since the early 1990's.
  • Ideologue: An often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.
  • Ideology: A collection of ideas, based upon the values and aspirations of those who believe in them, that often becomes the foundation of political activities and movements.
  • Illegal: Not according to or authorized by law.
  • Image: A popular conception of a nation, institution, or person, projected especially through the mass media.
  • Image-building: Protection and enhancement of the reputation of an organization or individual.
  • Immigrant: Broadly defined as anyone who enters a country other than their native country with the intention of settling there. In practice, the term encompasses a wide range of non-native people who reside in a country, either legally or illegally.  In the U.S. There are different kinds of immigrants such as lawfully admitted, illegal, refugees or political asylum seekers. An immigrant may gain citizenship through naturalization.
  • Immigration: Migration to a country of which you are not a native, in order to settle there. People who have immigrated to the U.S. are known as "immigrant aliens."
  • In office: The fact or state of holding a public position of authority.
  • Incumbency: The office and duties of an incumbent. The period of office held.
  • Incumbent: A person holding office, particularly an elected official such as a member of Congress or the president.
  • Influence: The act, power, or capacity of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force (i.e. using money, power, credibility, emotional appeal, or even misinformation). Inspirational speeches are very effective in motivating an audience and encouraging them to act. Related words: persuasion, influence peddling.
  • Information warfare: A strategy for countering propaganda in order to change perceptions. Disinformation is commonly used in information or psychological warfare. See propaganda.
  • Informative speech: A speech whose general purpose is to increase the audience's understanding and awareness of a topic.
  • Integrity: Adherence to moral principles; honesty. The quality of being incorruptible, or able to avoid compromise for the sake of personal expediency. The ability to avoid the use of inappropriate methods that are advantageous rather than fair and just.
  • Insiders: Elected and appointed officials.
  • Interest: Special attention. Also means curiosity about, or involvement in something.
  • Interest group, special interest group: An organized collection of people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of influencing government policy. The term is used to refer to lobbying groups. Targets of these lobbying groups often include the general public,  legislative lobbying, or media lobbying. Different means are used, such as electronic lobbying, coalition building, think-tanks, advertising, or public relations campaigns.
  • Interfaith: Approaches or dialogues aimed at integrating diverse religions, or coming together in order to understand each of them.
  • Internal affairs: The domestic concerns of a country.
  • Internally displaced persons: Refers to migrants who have fled their home "suddenly or unexpectedly and in large numbers" as a result of "armed conflict, internal strife, systematic violations of human rights or natural and man-made disasters," and resettled in their own country, according to a 1951 U.N. convention on refugees.
  • International: Of, relating to, or constituting a group or association having members in two or more nations. Reaching beyond national boundaries.
  • International protection: The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to ensure the welfare of people whose own governments have proven unable, or unwilling, to guarantee their basic human rights and physical security. Because the UNHCR lacks the supranational authority to enforce laws in sovereign states, the organisation can only "assist" Convention member states in fulfilling their obligations to protect refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Invasion of privacy: Because a person has a right to privacy, it is important to get written permission to publish photos, or use people in advertising materials, and to be careful about releasing personal information about people to the media.
  • Issue (media advocacy):  Issue advocacy seeks to use the media to generate public awareness of an issue, cause, or matter of particular concern to an individual, group, or organization (the issue is often a subject of controversy). Issue advocacy is the strategic use of media as a resource for advancing a social or public policy initiative. Issue advocacy can also be called media advocacy.
  • Issues management: Program of identifying and addressing issues of public concern in which a company is or should be involved.
  • J 
  • Jargon: Specialized terminology developed within a given profession or field of study. Technical language used for a special activity.
  • Joint-resolution: A resolution approved by both the House and Senate that becomes a law upon the signature of the president.
  • Joint-venture: A business partnership.
  • Judicial: Belonging to the branch of government that is charged with trying all cases that involve the government and with the administration of justice within its jurisdiction.
  • K 
  • K Street: Many lobbyists have their offices along this main commercial thoroughfare in Washington. It is used as a term to refer to the lobbying community as a whole.
  • L
  • Laïcité: Secularism
  • Latino: A person of Latin American origin living in the U.S.
  • Lawful: Being in accordance with the law. Legal. Legitimate.
  • Leadership: Leadership is a quality that is reflected in the ability of a person or a group of people to persuade others to act by inspiring them, while sharing a common belief that a proposed course of action is the correct one.
  • Left: Generally known as those holding extreme liberal views and advocating government intervention.
  • Left-wing: A faction of a political organization that is to the left of the majority.
  • Legal: Conforming to or permitted by law or established rules.
  • Legislation: Laws that apply to all persons within the jurisdiction of the legislative body enacting them.
  • Legislative: Belonging to the branch of government that is charged with such powers as making laws, levying and collecting taxes, and making financial appropriations.
  • Legislator: Lawmaker.
  • Legislature: The legislature is the official rule-making body of a political system.
  • Libel: Traditionally, libel is a printed falsehood and "slander" is an oral statement that is false. Today, there is little difference and the term "defamation" is used as a collective term. Defamation is any false statement about a person (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule, or inflicts injury on reputation. A person's reputation can be harmed by the use of print, broadcast, or pictures. Libel is an offense that is punishable by criminal law in the U.S., and subject to civil prosecution for damages. Related terms: free speech.
  • Liberal: The word liberal has taken on a pejorative connotation in American politics especially after September 11. Liberals are viewed as weak on defense, and in the media have been accused of being un-American (against the interests of the U.S., and not in accordance with the aims, ideals, customs, etc., of the U.S.). Many have feared to express their view for fear of being labeled unpatriotic. Amidst calls for uniting America, liberals have also been criticized for their open minded positions of religious and family values. For decades liberals have included those in favor of civil liberties, redistributive policies, and civil rights enforcement.
  • Lobby: (used as a verb) "To lobby" means to apply pressure, present arguments, or other incentives to try to make a political decision-maker favor the position of the lobby. "To lobby" means to try to influence or convince lawmakers or governmental bodies to take a specific legislative action.
  • Lobby: (used as a noun) As a noun, a "lobby" is an organized collection of people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of influencing government policy. Many of these groups seek to promote legislation, or political action, or to change public opinion in order to promote their own ideas, interests, agenda, and welfare. Lobbies carry out the function of "interest articulation." The activity they are engaged in is known as "lobbying." A lobby is often called an "interest group," or sometimes a "special interest group," or a "pressure group." Lobbies can also be referred to as "ethnic interest groups," "organized interests," and "single interest groups." These groups strategically use and transmit information to achieve their goals (activities can be nationwide, local, global, or within the EU). There are different types of lobbying such as legislative lobbying and media lobbying, as well as different targets such as the general public or community leaders. The definition of a lobby, and the activity of lobbying sometimes is a matter of differing interpretation. A lobby can mean a group, person, or firm which is registered to lobby in the U.S., or a lobby can mean an informal organization of people. One definition of lobbying is limited to direct attempts to influence lawmakers by direct contact and face-to-face meetings with lawmakers in order to influence the passage or defeat of legislation. This includes communication with any member or employee of a legislative body or government official who may participate in the formulation of the legislation. Another definition of lobbying includes indirect attempts, such as grassroots pressure and mobilization, coalition building, advertising, public relations, the use of mass media, and electronic lobbying. Indirect lobbying and supporting political campaigns can be done by various groups such as corporations, trade associations, professional associations, unions, governmental organizations, policy institutes, think-tanks, NGO's, and non-profit organizations. The most effective type of lobbying is all-directional lobbying, or multiple-target advocacy and pressure (a combination of direct influence and targeting the public arena). This requires interrelated strategies. There is ongoing debate over whether lobbies serve the public interest because they often represent interests that seek objectives and outcomes which benefit narrow sectors in society. Lobbies have also been criticized for the selective information they sometimes transmit to pressure members of Congress. Targets of influence are sometimes called lobbying contacts. The plural of the word lobby is "lobbies."
  • Lobby (Turkish lobby USA): The general definition of the Turkish lobby consists of two lobbying groups. The first group is made-up of  lobbyists in Washington, D.C. that are hired by the Turkish government. The other group refers to the Turkish-American community in the U.S., which is estimated to be somewhere between 300,000-400,000. It is estimated that only 50,000 to 80,000 Turkish-Americans vote in the U.S. elections. The community is represented by many Turkish-American organizations which have been established in different states of the U.S. (these associations are based on different interests, such as cultural, business, medical, scientific, or educational). In 1979, when the Assembly of  Turkish American Associations (ATAA) was established in Washington, D.C., many Turkish-American organizations became members, enabling the ATAA to act and serve as an umbrella organization. The ATAA has represented the Turkish community in the capital, in federal and state governments, and interacted with the media and the pubic. Because a large percentage of Turkish-Americans live in the northeastern U.S., especially near New York State, the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), based in New York City, has been active in coordinating grassroots activities. The Turkish-American community can be divided into two groups: those who have come from the Turkish Republic, and those who have come to America from areas outside Turkey, such as Cyprus, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The estimated figure of these groups combined is 500,000-600,000 (only a small percentage are U.S. citizens, but are often referred to as Turkish-Americans).
  • Lobbying: To conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials on legislation. Hired lobbyists, foreign agents, and grassroots movements can all participate in lobbying for the purpose of influencing government policy and public opinion.
  • Lobbying (USA): The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1994, increased the disclosure requirements for lobbyists operating in the U.S. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of  lobbying they conduct. The disclosure also makes public the areas in which a lobbyist works for a client, who the client is, and how much the lobbyist is paid for his work. Lobbyists are required to register under the law if: 1) they receive more than $5,000 from a client for lobbying over a six-month period; 2) they have frequent contacts with congressional staff, members, or executive branch officials; 3) and more than 20% of their time working for a client involves lobbying. Any group that has its own lobbyists in-house must register once expenses on lobbying exceed $20,500 in six months. A person, or a firm, who conducts lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, and who represent the interests of foreign countries on Capitol Hill, or with the executive branch, is known as a "foreign agent." They are subject to disclosure regulations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. Foreign commercial interests that meet all the criteria under the U.S. Lobbying Disclosure Act must register with the House or the Senate.See Lobbying Disclosure Act Section
  • Lobbying (EU): Lobbying in the U.S. seeks to promote or secure the passage of legislation in Congress, but lobbying targets can be members of a legislative body anywhere in the world, such as representatives of the European Union (it should be noted that despite the co-decision procedure, the European Parliament is not fully authorized to make laws and works as a co-legislature with the EU's Council of Ministers). Because many European Union institutions and bodies are located in Brussels, most European-wide lobbying organizations have their headquarters there. Brussels-based lobbying has been attracting attention since the 1990's. Corporations, PR firms, trade associations, commercial and industrial interests, consumer protection organizations, human rights groups, animal welfare activists, aid organizations, and single-issues lobbies all have representative offices in Brussels. The emergence of new technologies has also made NGO's aware of how important the battle for public opinion is, as they compete for media attention in order to communicate effectively with EU citizens and the world. Despite the growth of professional lobbying firms in Brussels, their impact on decisions and how they operate have not been extensively examined. Although the European Commission has a list of hundreds of bodies it consults, there is no official register of recognized lobbies (or pressure groups) that is produced by the Commission or European Parliament. According to CONECCS (Consultation, the European Community and  Civil Society) over 1,000 interests groups are active. Yet over 10,000 (perhaps up to 20,000) people are believed to be engaged in "interest representation," the majority being business groups. The Commission sometimes funds these bodies and actively works with them to encourage cultivating loyalties to the European level. Many lobbying firms are hired to monitor developments in a particular EU subject-area, to enable access to decision-makers, arrange meetings, suggest contacts, and assist in advocacy of a case.
    Click here to view accredited lobbyists to the European Parliament
  • Lobbyist: A lobbyist is a person, or firm, that is employed by a particular interest to advocate a specific policy, measure, or point of view to an elected lawmaker or governmental body. A lobbyist attempts to influence voting on legislation, or the decisions of government administrators. Lobbyists seek "to lobby" by using effective methods to influence their targets. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of  lobbying they conduct.  Professional lobbyists are paid to actively pursue the interests of the group they are working on behalf of (for example the Turkish government has regularly hired lobbyists, most recently the Livingston Group in Washington D.C., to supplement the official embassy representation. This lobbying firm is headed by a former Republican Congressman from Louisiana, Bob Livingston. The Livingston Group merged with The Solomon Group in 2002). There are more than 12,000 active lobbyists working in Washington at every level of government. A lobbyist is sometimes called a lobbyer.
  • Local government: Within U.S. states there are smaller subdivisions (cities, counties, towns and villages) that have their own governments. Laws for their residents are made by bodies often called councils, which can also impose taxes. Although, local governments vary from state to state, they each have executive and legislative branches as well.
  • M 
  • Mailing lists: Horizontal mailing lists deal with mass media and have the cross section of the public as its audience (helpful for a message or product with a universal interest). Vertical mailing lists target audiences with special interests (for example, groups with interests in sports, art, or business).
  • Mainstream: The political position generally at the center on the ideological spectrum.
  • Majority Leader: The second-ranking party position in the House (the first is in the Senate). The Majority Leader schedules floor action of bills and guides the party's legislative program through the House.
  • Manipulate: to change or to control by unfair or insidious means especially to one's advantage and to serve one's purpose.
  • Marketing: The process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. The goal is to attract and satisfy customers (or clients) on a long-term basis in order to achieve an organization's economic objectives. The fundamental aim of marketing is to build and maintain markets for an organization's products or services. "Marketing research" is conducted in order to study the means of promoting a product or service.
  • Marketing communications: Product publicity, promotion. and advertising. The combination of activities designed to sell a product, service, or idea, including advertising, publicity, direct mail, trade shows, special events, etc.
  • Marketing public relations: Use of public relations techniques to support overall advertising and marketing objectives of a company or client.
  • Mass communication: Communication generated by media organizations that is designed to reach large audiences. Mass media are the means by which mass communication takes place, where large numbers of people receive information in a short period of time. Television, radio news broadcasts, and mass rallies are examples of mass communication. As new technologies emerge, the means by which mass communication takes place is transforming. See Unit 10).
  • Mass media: The part of the media that appeals to very large numbers of people. The role of mass media in civil society is extremely important because participation in a democracy and civil society depends on the openness of communications media and on a diversity of information sources and opinions.
  • Measure: Legislation (a bill or resolution).
  • Media advocacy: Media advocacy seeks to use the media to influence public opinion and generate public awareness of an issue, cause, or matter of particular concern to an individual, group, or organization (the issue is often a subject of controversy). Media advocacy is the strategic use of media as a resource for advancing a social or public policy initiative. Media advocacy can also be called issue advocacy.
  • Media relations: Working with mass media in seeking publicity, or responding to the interests of the media.
  • Melting pot: A metaphor for the assimilation of diverse cultures.
  • MP: Member of parliament. National parliamentarians.
  • MEP: Member of the European Parliament.
  • Military-industrial-complex: The triangle of the U.S. Defense Department, its supervisory committees on Capitol Hill, and the armaments industry that often determines defense policy. Companies dependent on defense contracts are powerful lobbyists, and often side with the Department of Defense in an effort to subdue objections to U.S. weapons expenditures. The term was coined by President Eisenhower in 1961, when he referred to the threats to American democracy from too close a relationship between major corporations in the defense industry and the Pentagon.
  • Minister: A high officer of state entrusted with the management of a division of governmental activities. Can also be a diplomatic representative.
  • Minority: A part of a population differing from others in some characteristics, and often subjected to differential treatment.
  • Minority Leader: The head of the minority party in the House and in the Senate.
  • Minority groups:  In the U.S., and some European countries, minority groups are becoming more conscious of a sense of their roots, and rather than assimilating they are creating mini-societies of their own. Some countries such as France have stressed assimilation, whereas others such as the U.S. believe that diversity enhances a nation's cultural mosaic. Some observers foresee increasing tension and conflicts among groups. On the other hand, minority groups in the U.S. can also be seen as assimilating successfully. Due to what is called "the changing face of America" in the 21st century, by the middle of the century non-Hispanic whites will be a minority. Sociologists have noted that it is difficult to describe the average American today (and the American way of life), as well as to find a great deal of similarity between traditional nuclear American families and families today (for example, more people live alone than are married couples with children). According to one study 20 million Americans say they are American without claiming any other heritage.
  • Misinformation: Information that is false. Related word: disinformation.
  • Mislead (misdirect): To lead in a wrong direction, or into a mistaken action, or belief, often by deliberate deceit.
  • Misrepresent: To give a false, or misleading, representation of --usually with the intent to deceive or be unfair.
  • Misunderstand: To interpret incorrectly, and fail to understand.
  • Mobilization (mobilizing): To prepare and assemble for action, such as to mobilize support for a cause.
  • Moderate: Having political or social beliefs that are not extreme.
  • Moral Majority: A movement established in 1979 in the U.S. by Reverend Jerry Falwell which appealed to many fundamentalist Protestants. The Right movement's platform includes school prayer and opposition to abortion, pornography, and homosexuality. Evangelical leaders, who established the Christian Coalition in 1989, are sometimes referred to as Christian fundamentalists. Evangelicals have become more willing to engage in politics with increased intensity of belief. In Oct. 2002, Reverend Falwell announced on CBS that the Prophet Muhammed was "a terrorist."  Well-known supporters, such as Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) have called Islam evil and "a wicked religion." The former president of the Southern Baptist Convention has called the Prophet Muhammed "a demon-possessed pedophile." Pat Robertson has described the Muslim Prophet as "a robber and a brigand" in addition to describing Islam as "a monumental scam." The secular and religious divisions within America are often highlighted by the demands of evangelical groups. Evangelicals also provide an important domestic base of support for the pro-Israel lobby due to their religious beliefs.
  • Motion: A proposal for a certain action to be taken.
  • Motive (motivation): Something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act. The motive, or motivation, can be the result of an influence, force, or stimulus.
  • Movement: A series of organized events working toward an objective. An organized effort to promote or attain an end (ex: the civil rights movement).
  • MP: Member of Parliament
  • Multi-culturalism, multi-cultural: An appreciation of diverse cultures. Also refers to individuals who derive from mixed racial and ethnic ancestry. Many schools and institutions in the U.S. have taken the position that multiculturalism should be encouraged as a way of life and that groups should take pride in embracing their ethnic identity.
  • Multi-ethnic (multi-ethnicity): The combination of various ethnic and racial origins.
  • Multilateralism: A foreign policy that seeks to encourage the involvement of several countries in coordinated action.
  • Municipalities: Cities or towns with local self-government.
  • N 
  • NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. A public interest group that seeks to advance the public's interest in civil rights.
  • National: Concerning the country as a whole, not local. Also means the member of a nation.
  • National convention: Votes are cast for delegates in order to determine the party nominee.
  • National representations: Each member state of the EU has an embassy in Brussels to manage the country's dealings with various EU institutions, to lobby, and to have direct involvement in the legislative process through the Council of Ministers.
  • Nationalism: A belief that the inhabitants or citizens of the same territory constitute a single community with something in common. A sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population (these communities often live under one political system and are independent of others). Nationalism, which contrasts with internationalist movements, can be exaggerated, passionate or fanatical devotion to a national community, which can be described as "chauvinism" (aggressive or fanatical patriotism, or the belief of the superiority of one's own race). Nationalism is also defined as the concentration of power or authority in the central government of a nation.
  • Nationality: Membership, citizenship, in a particular country.
  • Native American: A member of any of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, or South America.
  • Naturalization: The act of granting citizenship of a country to a person who is not a native of that country. Citizenship, or nationality, is the primary criterion used in most European countries to distinguish between those who are considered "locals" and those who are, for bureaucratic purposes, outsiders or immigrants. A person becomes a U.S. citizen through naturalization and is thereafter called a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
  • Neo-Conservatives (Neo-cons): U.S. foreign policy has often been described as a neo-conservative led foreign policy. The origins of the neo-con foreign policy agenda are a topic of intense research and debate. Neo-conservative thought began in the 1960's as a philosophical movement and reaction to the politics of the time, but scholars have still been struggling to define the term. Some have described neo-cons as an influential special interest, or domestic lobby, that has come to power. Political analysts point out that neo-conservatives hold important positions in the U.S. administration, Pentagon, and Defense Department, and are responsible for bold and aggressive U.S. policies. Neo-conservatives have described themselves as realists, but are increasingly seen as controversial members of a grandiose thinkers movement who seek to reshape the world with American power. Recent books on neo-con thought claim this small group of people have imperial ambitions and seek to create an American-dominated world order (a unipolarist ideology of American global preeminence). They include policymakers, intellectuals, writers, academics, ideologues, and major figures in think-tanks. Many analysts believe that the attacks of Sept. 11 helped to launch the long desired neo-conservative-led war with Iraq. The roots of neo-conservatism, beginning as a rightward movement of a group from the left, are also an area of current interest. Sources that have influenced them are Irving Kristol, Leo Strauss, Albert Wohlstetter, Charles Krauthammer, and Marxist thought. Disillusionment and a rejection of some underlying assumptions of American liberalism brought the first generation of neo-cons together when they split from the American left in the mid-1960's. After 1967 and the Six-Day War, neo-cons became identified with new values of American Judaism, and were viewed as the leadership of the American Jewish community because they were seen as the most hostile to the enemies of Jews and Israel. During the 1970's, some writers maintain that President Reagan accepted the neo-con doctrine that Israel was a surrogate for the Free World, threatened by communism and Third World terrorists. Neo-cons have supported Western values, have been hostile to communism, favor a strong American profile abroad, defend capitalism, advocate deregulation and welfare reform, are skeptical about the role of government, are hostile to utopias, and have a traditional approach to religion and morality (bringing neo-cons closer to Evangelicals). The early neo-cons came from the first generation of Jewish socialist New Yorkers, were born in the 1930's, and were former Democrats. Neo-conservatism was a declining movement in the 1990's, but since the original founding neo-cons, a third generation has arisen and the movement has merged into the mainstream Republican right, and regained power in the second Bush administration. Observers have noted increasing neo-con concern with the Middle East region, the fate of Israel, and their desire to secure Israel's safety and predominance in the Middle East. Some analysts predict that the neo-cons have no intention of stopping with Iraq in their plan to remake the Middle East, and that the second phase of the war on terrorism will target other countries, such as Iran and Syria, in order to trigger radical transformation in an attempt bring democracy to the Middle East. Based on America's economic and security interests, the neo-cons also seek to prevent the emergence of rival power blocs and see the fight against terrorism as a world war. Critics do not believe it is in the U.S. interest to commit such a large portion of the U.S. Army to Iraq, while others argue that such creative destruction breeds more terrorists, creates worldwide Anti-Americanism, weakens alliances, stirs unrest in the Muslim world, and is based on policies that have endangered America. The neo-con rise to influence and power, and the impact of neo-cons on 21st century U.S. foreign policy, is a hotly debated subject that needs to be better understood for enhancing U.S. security and U.S. relations with the world.
  • News conference (press conference): Meeting at which the spokesperson for an organization or an individual in the news delivers information to reporters and answers their questions.
  • News release: Timely information about an activity of a public relations practitioner's client or organization, distributed in ready-to-use form.
  • NGO, Non-governmental organization: An organization (often led by volunteers) with no fundamental ties to government which seeks to meet human and social needs, whose primary goal is not commercial. Through involvement in voluntary associations and the use of advanced communication technology, individuals are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the agenda and character of world politics. NGO's derive their dynamism from social participation and social cohesion, in a world that is becoming smaller and more diverse. Because of their increasing number, NGO's are playing an important role in the emergence of a global civil society. Although there is no internationally agreed definition of the concept of a "global civil society," the impact of  their transnational activity has clearly been felt within the United Nations and European Union, as NGO activity acquires global political significance and shapes the development of societies, individual attitudes and behavior.See Unit 12).
  • Non-immigrant: Often used to refer to the so-called "skilled" immigrant who comes to a country, commonly by invitation, to work in a particular field of expertise (such as information technology or nursing) under a fixed contract and who is expected to return to their country of origin when that contract expires. Faced with labour shortages in key high-tech growth areas, Germany recently launched a green card scheme aimed at attracting up to 20,000 such skilled immigrants by 2004. In practice, experts say, the line between "non-immigrant" and "immigrant" tends to blur when members of the former category overstay their welcome and settle permanently in the new country --as happened with many of the guest workers invited to help rebuild Germany after World War II.
  • Non-profit organization: An organization, foundation or endowment, whose activities are not for the purpose of making a profit. They play a vital role in fulfilling community needs that are not met by commercial enterprises (private sector) or governmental entities (public sector). Leaders and staff are often non-paid volunteers. These organizations may be entirely funded by voluntary donations and often give grants. In the U.S. most non-profit philanthropic and voluntary organizations have a tax exempt status, often possessing tax code numbers 501 (c)(3) and (4) or 527. Lobbying is permitted to definable limits, so non-profits can be part of the legislative process, but are not allowed to participate in the political election of candidates. Also known as "not-for-profit," or "non-profit," or "non-profit org."
  • O
  • Objective: Having a fair and undistorted view on a question or issue.
  • Official: A person who holds an office. Also means authorized, authoritative.
  • OIC: Organization of the Islamic Conference. Currently led by Turkey.
  • Opinion leader: A person, usually a member of the political, economic, or social elite, who can influence the views of others.
  • Opinion poll: Measures of public attitude, on any issue, carried out by professional polling organizations, whose primary business is in market research. A canvassing of a representative sample of a large group of people on some question in order to determine the general opinion of the group. Polls often measure the voting intention of the electorate, rank politicians and parties, and popularity of policy alternatives. Polling techniques are complex, may be misleading, and are not always accurate. They usually employ sampling or questionnaires (whose wording can effect the person being polled if not neutral). The results of polls may change the attitude of the public due to psychological factors.
  • Origin: Ancestry, parentage, the derivation from a source.
  • Oversight: The effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies.
  • Outreach: Reaching out. Some agencies or services provide outreach programs, designed as quality of life supplements (they usually seeks to aid less fortunate members of society such as the poor, homeless, the elderly, veterans, or teenagers who are in need of counseling, fighting substance-abuse, or family violence).
  • P
  • Paradigm: Paradigms are models or patterns of various cultures. They determine values, norms, provide regulations, and influence how we think and act. The properties of a particular paradigm may change when viewed from different perspectives. Many strategists believe that since the collapse of communism we are entering a new global paradigm (and should be prepared for an accelerated process of change). Other thinkers point to a new struggle between two different paradigms that entails a clash between a multilateralism oriented European Union, and unilateralist U.S., with competing interests in Asia. Organizations and lobbies should be able to anticipate impending paradigm shifts, deal with change, adapt and take opportunity of major trends as they emerge. An atmosphere of uncertainty, confusion, and unknowns can result in paralyses and inaction. In order to take action that can have an impact on the future, trend trackers need to ask: What are the important issues that Turkey, Europe, Asia, the U.S., and rest of the world will be confronted with in the 21st century and beyond?
  • Parliament: The supreme legislative body of a major political unit that is a continuing institution comprising a series of individual assemblages.
  • Parliamentarian: A member of parliament.
  • Participation: Involvement.
  • Partisan: A person who is strongly committed to a political party or ideology. Nonpartisan, on the other hand, is defined as not having a party loyalty, and may mean being objective and neutral.
  • Partisanship: Loyalty to a particular political party.
  • Party identification: The tendency of people to think of themselves as Democrats, Republicans, or independents.
  • Party line: The official position of a political party on current issues. Party discipline usually involves enforcement of a party line.
  • Patriotism, patriotic, patriot: One who loves his or her country and supports its authority and national interests is patriotic (and a patriot).
  • Patronage: The rewards of office dispensed to loyal followers and supporters by elected officials as a means of securing political power.
  • Perception: The act of becoming aware or conscious of something. The way information from the external world is provided can be manipulated in a way so as to have an impact on how it might be observed or interpreted by the individual.
  • Persuasion: The process of influencing attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavior. The act or ability to move by argument to a belief, position, or course of action. To urge or convince (i.e. by using sound arguments, or marketing strategies). Psychological factors play an important role in persuasion. Anti-Turkish lobbies often enhance their means of influence with appeals to emotion in order to capture greater attention and stimulate a desire to act.
  • Persuasive speech: A presentation whose message is designed to change or influence the audience's opinion and/or behavior (it may also reinforce an audience's thoughts, feelings, or actions). The audience might be encouraged to see the world from the speaker's standpoint and to understand issues from the speaker's perspective. The speaker may also engage the audience in a discussion about an idea, concern, or plan of action.
  • Plagiarism: The act of using other people's ideas or words without acknowledging the source.
  • Philanthropy: The practice of performing charitable or benevolent actions. Love of mankind.
  • Pluralism: The view that political power is and should be dispersed among many elites that share a common acceptance of the rules of the game.
  • Plurality system: An electoral system in which, to win a seat in parliament or other representative body, a candidate need only win the most votes in the election, not necessarily a majority of votes cast. A greater number of votes than those of any other candidate, but not a majority of the votes.
  • Policy, policies: The goal that is to be achieved by an action or series of actions undertaken by a government, political party, interest group, or individual. The term is also used for the plan or program by means of which a goal is reached.
  • Policy formulation: Policymakers and their staffs deliberate the pros and cons of each issue in a process that may take years to complete.
  • Policymaker: A person that makes policy.
  • Political Action Committee (PAC's): A fund-raising independent organization that can contribute money to the campaigns of candidates on behalf of corporations, lobbies, unions, professional and trade associations, or ideological causes. PAC's can be established by political candidates, officeholders, corporations, or interest groups. Over 4,000 PAC's are the result of federal laws from the 1970's that prohibited corporate contributions to candidates for federal elections. These organizations, which are designed to raise and spend money in support of candidates or party committees they support, have been playing an important role in lobbying since the 1970's. The purpose of PAC's is to influence legislation or executive agency activities. The term PAC does not appear anywhere in federal law. The formation of PAC's was encouraged by FECA law passed in 1971 that allowed the establishment of multi-candidate committees. As a result of FECA, candidates were freed from financial dependence on their parties, and through PAC's congressional candidates could increasingly obtain funds from special interest groups. Foreign multinationals can establish PAC's to finance campaigns and influence politics. The role of PAC's in American politics is a controversial issue, but many maintain that the range of PAC's reflects the diversity of American society, and competition between them prevents the dominance of any particular groups.See USA Contribution Limits
  • Political apathy: Lack of interest in politics; failure to vote and participate in the political system (only about 50% of the American electorate votes in recent presidential elections).
  • Political consultant: An individual, trained in public relations, media, or polling techniques, who advises candidates on organizing their campaign.
  • Political correctness (politically correct, PC): Avoiding forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult certain racial or cultural groups (e.g.: in advertising). Critics see PC as a means of suppressing legitimate debate and as a form of censorship because public discussion of viewpoints is often limited in order to avoid potentially offensive terminology, consequences, or public behaviour. PC is a term that is used differently in various countries.
  • Political culture: A set of values, beliefs, and traditions about politics and government that are shared by most members of society (though post-Sept. 11 the U.S. has been divided on many issues, political culture in the U.S. includes faith in democracy, representative government, freedom of speech, and individual rights).
  • Political party: A group formed to field candidates for elective office and to advance general or specific policies.
  • Poll: The casting, recording, or counting of votes in an election. Public opinion polls are a canvassing of a representative sample of a large group of people on some question in order to determine the general opinion of the group.
  • Pollster: A person who conducts opinion polls.
  • Population: All the persons inhabiting a country, city, or other specific place.
  • Power: Ability or capacity to do something. Political, financial, social, etc, force or influence. The exercise of control, authority, or influence.
  • Pre-emptive: To act in order to reduce or destroy an enemy's attacking strength before it can use it.
  • Prejudice: An opinion of a person or group formed beforehand, especially an unfavorable one based on inadequate facts or a stereotype. Also refers to the intolerance of, or dislike for, people of a specific race, religion, etc.
  • Premise: An acceptable generalization for a particular context or audience. A statement, or theory, that is assumed to be true for the purpose of an argument from which a conclusion is drawn.
  • Presentation aids (visual aids): Objects, pictures, graphs, models, charts, video, audio, and multimedia, used alone and in combination within the context of a speech. A "prop" is any object used  by a speaker as a presentation aid.
  • Press agent: A PR specialist who that finds unusual news angles and plans special events that attract media attention.
  • Press clipping services: These services check newspapers, magazines, and other publications (even network news and talkshows) on a daily basis for coverage that is given to a company, institution or person who hires this service. Many public relations firms use these services in order to show their clients what they have accomplished. These services are also useful for trend tracking.
  • Press kit: Folder containing news releases, photographs, and background information that is distributed to journalists and media representatives.
  • Press release: A document of informational material, on a recent or current event, that is distributed to broadcast stations, newspapers, and magazines for public relations purposes.
  • Pressure group: A group of people who seek to exert pressure on legislators, public opinion, etc, in order to promote their own ideas, agenda, and welfare.
  • Primacy: The primacy of EU law over national law. Supremacy.
  • Primary (primary election): In the U.S. a primary is a preliminary election in which party members of a state select candidates to run for office. There are different types of primaries such as open, direct, and closed (for example, in a closed primary which is the most common, voters must be members of a particular party in order to vote for its candidates).
  • Private-sector: The part of a country's economy that consists of privately owned enterprises.
  • Private voluntary organization (PVO): Many NGO's prefer using this term.
  • Proactive: The act of taking initiative. Taking charge. An approach in which future events can be planned for, and even managed, as opposed to a reactive response to change (often seen during crisis management).
  • Professional: Extremely competent in a job.
  • Prohibition of return: A clause in the U.N. Convention on refugees that bars member countries from returning refugees to countries where their life or freedom would be threatened due to race, religion, nationality or social or political affiliations.
  • Propaganda: Propaganda is any organized or concerted group effort or movement to spread a particular doctrine or a system of doctrines or principles. Information is represented in such a way as to provoke a desired response. Information and techniques are intentionally and purposefully used to promote a cause, or to injure or enhance the reputation of a group, individual, or even a country. The information may distort the facts, or may not tell the entire story, in order to suit the purposes of the sender (propagandist). Propaganda is often spread through a systematic and organized method of dissemination of selective information and/or allegations, to assist or damage the cause of a government, a movement, or for other motives. Propaganda is therefore a systematic attempt to manipulate public opinion, attitudes, beliefs, and actions of people, through the use of various methods. Propaganda is distinguished from educating or informing because it is deliberate selectivity that can include manipulation. Propaganda is sometimes referred to as public diplomacy, or public affairs. Related terms: public diplomacy, public affairs, public relations, persuasion, advertising, political campaigns, PR campaigns, disinformation, misinformation, public opinion, mass persuasion, mass media campaign,  propaganda war, psychological operations, pysops, information warfare.
  • Proportional representation: The electoral system whereby legislative seats are assigned to party candidates in proportion to the percentage of the vote that the party receives in the election.
  • Protocol: Formal diplomatic behavior.
  • Public affairs: The dissemination of information, or conducting PR activities, by government agencies or corporations. Public affairs is also work done in the area of community relations. Public affairs seeks to develop effective involvement in public policy and can help an organization adapt to public expectations. Related terms: public diplomacy.
  • Public dialogue: The civil exchange of ideas and opinions among communities about topics that affect the public.
  • Public diplomacy:  Public diplomacy is made-up of government-sponsored programs intended to inform or influence public opinion in other countries (often with the use of films, cultural exchanges, radio and television). Public diplomacy plays an important role in foreign affairs, in supporting the foreign policies of a country, and in safeguarding and advancing its interests. Official government efforts aim to shape the communications environment around the world in order to reduce the degree to which misperceptions and misunderstandings complicate a countries relations with other nations. Public diplomacy is designed to incite a particular reaction or action in the target audience. Central to public diplomacy is the transnational flow of information and ideas, usually one-way and informational, as in a mass media campaign. Public diplomacy is sometimes called propaganda. Ministries of culture, as well as institutions such as the Alliance Francaise, British Council, Goethe Institute, Cervantes Instituto, can be considered actors in public diplomacy. Related terms: propaganda, public affairs, public relations, persuasion, advertising, political campaigns, PR campaigns, disinformation, misinformation, public opinion, mass persuasion, mass media campaign,  propaganda war, psychological operations, pysops, information warfare.
  • Public funding: Government grants to candidates for campaign purposes (it can be full or partial depending on whether they plan to raise money). As allowed by election law, candidates can receive public funding for presidential primaries, nominating conventions, and general elections. For the first time in 1996 public funds were used in the U.S. to pay for some of the costs of presidential primary and general election campaigns, with the money coming from taxpayer' optional use of an income tax form checkoff setting aside $1 of their payment for the campaign fund (but less than 30% regularly accept the option). Also called public financing.
  • Public good: The national interest. The public interest. National good.
  • Public interest: The common interests of the community as a whole. Can be described as the national interest, or "the public good." Some groups seek to make the political system more responsive to the citizens of a country, and thus benefit the entire society.
  • Public interest groups: These groups have arisen to protect and represent the general "public interest," and tend to be associated with the promotion of particular causes. They are counter balancing forces to lobbies which many claim have made Congress a captive of interest groups. The aim of public interest groups is to lobby for the people. Public interest groups were present during the past two centuries, however, they have been particularly active since the late 1960's. Their objective is to benefit the larger society and not special interest groups (to disprove that "everybody's organized but the people"). Public interest groups have warned that special interests (many whose aim is economic profit) exercise undue influence over governmental decisions, and the lives of the powerless majority. Some well-known groups have been Common Cause, and Ralph Nader groups under the umbrella of Public Citizen Inc, which have focused on "clean government," accountability, consumer, environmental and social policy issues. In the 1980's conservative single-issue public interest groups became more active, such as the National Right to Life Committee. The ACLU and NAACP are also public interest groups since they do not operate for profit and seek to advance the public interest in civil rights and civil liberties. Many public interest groups desire to represent groups or interests in society previously unrepresented, or underrepresented in the political process. Analysts of the political process point out that the federal budget is not sufficiently supporting programs of public interest groups.
  • Public office: Public officials are elected to public office.
  • Public opinion: The attitude of the public, especially as a factor in determining the actions of government.
  • Public policy: Actions undertaken by officials in the public interest.
  • Public relations (PR): The practice of creating, promoting, or maintaining goodwill and a favorable image among the public for an institution, country, product, organization, etc. The basic components of public relations are: counseling management; researching attitudes and behaviors; media relations; publicity; employee relations; community relations; public affairs; government affairs; issues management; financial relations; industry relations; fund-raising; multicultural relations; special events; and marketing communications. Related terms: corporate communications, public affairs, communication, corporate relations, corporate public affairs, corporate marketing and communications, public information, community relations, or media relations.
  • Public relations campaigns: A series of coordinated activities designed to create a favorable image of a product, person, country, etc.
  • Public sector: The public sector of the economy usually denotes the combination of the central government, state-owned institutions, including nationalized industries, public corporations and services provided by local authorities.
  • Public servant: An elected or appointed holder of a public office.
  • Public service: Government employment. The management and administration of the affairs of a political unit, especially the civil service.
  • Public speaking: The art or practice of making speeches to large audiences. A type of communication in which a speaker delivers a message with a specific purpose to an audience who is present during the delivery.
  • Publicist: A person who deals exclusively with placement of stories in the media. A person who publicizes something, especially a press or publicity agent.
  • Publicity: Information about an event, individual, group, product, or service, that appears as a news item or feature story in the mass media (material is usually prepared by PR professionals). Publicity is news, and should be free. Publicity is the technique, or process, of attracting public attention, often by the use of the mass media. It is often also referred to as public relations, promotion, and advertising. Publicity is a means of disseminating planned messages through selected media to further the organization's interests.
  • Publicity agent: The person who uses the technique or process of attracting public attention.
  • Publicize: To bring to public notice.
  • Q
  • Questionnaire: A written survey with a series of questions designed to gather information from a large group of respondents.
  • Quota: What is allocated to a person or group (example: immigrants admitted to a country, or Turkish textile exports to the U.S.)
  • R
  • Race: Candidates competing in an election are in a race (such as a presidential race). Race also is defined as a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics.
  • Race relations: The relations between members of two or more races, especially within a single community.
  • Racial profiling: A form of racism consisting of the alleged policy of policemen who stop and search vehicles driven by persons belonging to particular racial groups (also increasingly encountered during the boarding of flights and other security checks)
  • Racism: Hostility or antagonism based on skin color, national origin, or religious affiliation. Another aspect of racism is a belief that one race is superior to another.
  • Ratify: To give formal approval or consent to.
  • Reactive:  A reactive response to an event, or issue, usually emerges because initiative was not taken, and individuals, organizations, or institutions are unprepared for change. A reactive approach is one in which future events are not anticipated or managed, nor are plans devised for a response to developments and changes (reactive responses are often seen during crisis management).
  • Realpolitik: Politics of realism, sometimes without regard to moral values. A state's own interests. A ruthlessly realistic and opportunist approach to statesmanship, rather than a moralistic approach. There are a variety of other approaches to international relations such as, multilateral, unilateral, isolationist, internationalist, and idealist.
  • Reapportionment: The periodic redistribution of congressional or legislative seats based on changing census figures.
  • Reasoning: Logical explanation of a claim.
  • Reelection: To run for elections, or to be elected, more than once.
  • Referendum, referenda: A referendum is the submission of an issue, or proposed measure, of public importance to the direct vote of the electorate (it can be a particular law or idea put before voters to decide). A referendum is a vote of the electorate on an issue of public policy, such as a constitutional amendment (the vote may be binding or consultative).
  • Refugee: Any person living outside the country of their nationality because of a "well-founded" fear that if they returned to that country they would be persecuted on grounds of race, religion, nationality, political affiliation or membership of a particular social group. The term also applies to people fleeing a country in which they may not have been nationals, but which they would describe as a place of "habitual residence." Among the universally recognised human rights to which refugees are entitled under U.N. conventions are the right to life, protection from torture and ill treatment, freedom of movement, and the right to leave any country.
  • Regulation: The rules of a federal, state, or municipal agency that private organizations are required to satisfy to either operate or do business with the government. Also defined as government oversight of private business so as to achieve a social benefit, such as protecting consumers or the environment.
  • Relations: Social, political, or personal connections or dealings between or among individuals, groups, nations, etc.
  • Reliability: The degree to which an information source can be considered credible.
  • Represent: To act as or be the authorized delegate or agent for a country, person, business, etc.
  • Representative: A person that represent another or others. In the U.S., a member of the House of Representatives.
  • Resolution: A bill passed by the House or the Senate expressing sentiments on political issues or personal matters, which does not have the force of law.
  • Resources: The means and tools which are the foundation of success. Resources include financial strength, membership size, indirect and direct support, political skills, organizational cohesiveness, prestige, and the ability to access information.
  • Rider: An amendment to a bill that may or may not relate to the subject of the bill and that would have little chance of passing on its own.
  • Right: A privilege or power to which a person is legitimately entitled. Fundamental rights are basic rights that come before those granted by a government or constitution and that cannot be taken from a person, such as the right of self-defense.
  • Right: Those holding conservative views and advocating limited government intervention.
  • Right-wing: A faction of a political organization that is to the right of the majority.
  • Rules Committee: In both the House and Senate, these committees set the rules and procedures for legislation coming to the floor. They are responsible for determining the procedures under which most legislation is debated and amended on the floor of the House of Representatives.
  • Rural: Living in or accustomed to the countryside or farming areas.
  • S 
  • Sales presentation: An oral presentation that tries to lead a potential buyer, or interested party, to purchase or use a service or product described by the presenter.
  • Seat: "a seat in office"
  • Secularism: The belief that religion should have no place in civil affairs.
  • Self-interest: One's personal interest or advantage. The act or an instance of pursuing one's own interest, or on behalf of a group.
  • Senate: The U.S. Senate consists of 2 members from each state, chosen by popular vote for 6 years. Every two years one third of the Senate faces re-election for a six-year term. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have Standing Committees to which all bills are referred. The Senate has the power to ratify all treaties, and can reject or approve presidential appointments.
  • Senator: The U.S. Senate consists of 100 Senators. Two senators represent each of the 50 states.
  • Sentiment: Opinion or attitude.
  • Single issue groups: These activist groups are organized to lobby Congress for, or against, a single, or narrow range of issues, such as abortion or gun control. Because they raise substantial funds for their cause, they are able to unseat politicians who disagree with their cause.
  • Skill: Special ability in a task, trade, or technique.
  • Slander: Traditionally, "slander" was the oral defamation of character, or injury by spoken word ("libel" was a printed falsehood). Today, there is little difference and the term "defamation" is used as a collective term. Defamation is any false statement about a person (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule, or inflicts injury on reputation. Related terms: free speech.
  • Social movements: Collective actors in civil society distinguished by mass mobilization or participation as their prime source of  social power, typically concerned to defend or change society, or the relative position of a group within society. Social movements can be seen as a major international actor after states and transnational corporations. Despite their informal and spontaneous character, social movements have been able to maximize their leverage by creating coalitions with other movements and networks.
  • Soft money: Contributions to organizations that are not connected with a particular campaign, and not subject to most campaign finance regulations. This money is therefore regulated by state laws, which are often more lax than federal law. Soft money is money that is raised and spent by organizations that are not tied directly to a candidate and therefore are not subject to many regulations. Critics say that due to soft money loopholes, regulations and prohibitions are meaningless. As of 2002 national political parties are banned from accepting or spending soft money (large, unlimited contributions by corporations, unions, and individuals). Soft money consists of funds used by national party committees to pay for the federal portion of state and local party campaign expenses. Such campaign money can be contributed directly to political parties for voter registration and organization. State and local parties can accept up to 10,000 each year per individual for getting out the vote and for voter registration efforts in federal elections.
  • Soft power: The power of ideas to achieve objectives not usually obtainable by military force. It is the power to attract. Soft power has been described as a means to get others to want what you want. The global reach of American culture can enhance America's soft power.
  • Solidarity: Unity of interests, sympathies, and goals.
  • Sound bite: A brief, clear, concise statement that summarizes key points in 20 seconds or less. A brief quote used in a broadcast news report.
  • Source credibility: The degree to which a source of information is perceived as reputable. The use of people who are competent and trustworthy, have expertise, a good grasp of the subject, sound reasoning skills, and the charisma needed to win acceptance from an audience.
  • Speaker of the House: The Speaker is chosen by a vote of the majority party and is the presiding officer of the House, the leader of its majority party, and second in line to succeed the president.
  • Special interest groups: Individuals, groups, or organizations with particular points of view who seek specific goals, just as a lobby does. Special interest groups seek to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests. The use of this term is often in a derogatory sense due to a belief that such groups are more committed to their own goals than to the public good. Some election reformers are dissatisfied because the system allows special interests to influence public policy in ways that can be dangerous.
  • Spin: Putting a positive light on events, or trying to convince people to see things in a particular way. Sometimes called "damage control."
  • State government: Each of the 50 states of the U.S. has three branches of government--legislative, executive and judicial--just like the U.S. federal government. Each of the 50 U.S. states has a two-house legislature (except Nebraska which is unicameral), a governor and other executive officials, and a judicial system, as well as its own constitution and local government. The U.S. constitution was written in 1787, but because the 13 original colonies had governments before the U.S. Constitution was ratified, not all states function in the same manner. Like Congress, the state legislatures make laws for the state. According to the federal Constitution, the states have powers that are not granted to the federal government and that are not specifically denied to them by the federal or state constitutions. Each state has a governor elected by the people of the state. The governors term of office in various states ranges from 2 to 4 years.
  • State's rights: The theory that each state should have the right to interpret federal laws to suit its individual needs.
  • Stereotype: A standardized image or conception. Oversimplified and distorted ideas. A stereotype is usually a broad generalization about an entire group based on limited knowledge, or limited exposure. A stereotype creates an association, or suggests an idea or notion, often not flattering or true of a group of people. Stereotyping usually takes place when assumptions are made based upon such factors as race or gender.
  • Strategy: A plan that attempts to identify the course of action needed for achieving goals and success. Lobbying strategies include proactive and counteractive strategies. Under a proactive strategy, a group presents information in an effort to change a lawmaker's policy position. Under a counteractive strategy, a lobby presents information in an effort to prevent an opposing group from changing the lawmaker's position. When a group selects a strategy, it must anticipate what opposing groups will do. Strategies can focus on the accuracy of the information presented by one side, and if their is evidence of the misrepresentation of the facts. A good strategy should be able to uncover and launch an investigation of any deliberate misrepresentation, misleading claims, or unfounded allegations. Encouraging the public to demand to know the sources of misleading information is in the interests of a healthy democracy. The use of such strategies would reveal unreliable lobbies, and discourage lobbyists from misrepresenting the facts because they would be under greater scrutiny. Legislators who fail to verify information would also be known. Negative publicity would also be generated by the media regarding the lobbying group and lawmakers who may have been deceived.
  • Strategist: A specialist or expert in strategy.

  • Suffrage: The right to vote. Some one who is eligible to vote in the election of a government is known as an elector.
  • Supporting material: Ideas, opinions, and information that help explain or advance an argument or presentation's key points and purpose.
  • Survey: Also called a public opinion survey. It is often a canvassing of a representative sample of a large group of people on some question in order to determine the general opinion of the group.
  • Swing voters: These are undecided voters who can support candidates from either party. If there are a large number of swing voters in one state, that state can be referred to as a "swing state" or "battleground state." States that vote predominantly Republican, are known as a "red state" and states that are predominantly Democratic are a "blue state." States with a large number of swing voters can produce a significant number of electoral votes and make a difference in presidential elections.
  • T 
  • Tactics: The planned use of skill or judgment in handling difficult or delicate situations. Tactics are often part of a broad strategy.
  • Talking points: Brief arguments that can be used when discussing an issue.
  • Target audience: People who should be influenced by a message or argument.
  • Taxpayer: A person or organization that pays taxes or is liable to taxation.
  • Tax-exempt status:  In the U.S. there are about one million non-profit organizations which do not pay tax and usually possess tax code numbers 527 or 501 (c)(3) and (4). Nonprofit financial statements disclose how resources have been acquired and used to accomplish the non-profit's objectives. They also disclose restrictions.
  • Terrorism: An increasingly disturbing form of political activity by which random violence is perpetrated against civilians and noncombatants by radical groups who seek to bring down a government or to change policies. It has been difficult for the international community to agree on a definition of terrorism because one person's 'terrorist' may be another's 'freedom fighter.'
  • Testimony: Statement or opinions someone has said or written. Firsthand findings, eyewitness accounts, and opinions by people, both from lay (non-expert) and from experts who are considered an authority in a particular field.
  • The press: News media and agencies collectively, especially newspapers. Good "press relations" are usually an important objective of lobbies.
  • The public: Society in general.
  • The floor: Part of a legislative hall in which debate and other business is conducted. To "get" or "have the floor" means to have the right to speak in a legislative or deliberative body.
  • Thesis statement: A statement that summarizes in a declarative sentence the main argument, proposition, or assumption of a presentation. It may be an unproved statement, especially one put forward as a premise in an argument. The thesis statement is the central idea of a speech that connects all the parts of the speech (the main points, supporting material, and the conclusion).
  • Think-tank: A group of specialists organized by a governmental body, business enterprise, ideological group, etc, and commissioned to undertake intensive study and research into specified problems and issues. Think-tanks, or policy groups, often testify at congressional hearings.
  • Ticket: A list of candidates, almost always from the same party, who run for office as a team in the U.S.
  • Timing: Regulating actions or remarks in relation to others to produce the best effect.
  • Trademark law: A "trademark" is a word, symbol, or slogan, used singly or in combination, that identifies a product's origin.
  • Trend: General tendency or direction. A predictable sequence of events (in comparison to a one-time event). Seemingly unrelated events can often have economic, social, and political significance which trend trackers evaluate. Without an openness to new ideas, myopia and subjectivity can lead to a failure to see trends or paradigm shifts, resulting in inaction.
  • U 
  • Unilateralism: The policy of taking action independently in foreign affairs, avoiding political or military alliances.
  • Unlawful: Illegal. Not morally right or conventional.
  • Urban: Relating to a city or town.
  • Veto: Rejection of a proposal or legislation.
  • Virtual: Simulation of the real thing. This term appears before various computer terms to indicate simulation technology that enables you to cross boundaries and experience something without needing its physical presence.
  • Voluntary: Performed, undertaken, or brought about by free choice, willingly, and without compulsion.
  • Volunteer: A person who willingly assists an organization. The success of many non-profit organizations often depends on the hard work of its volunteers. Non-profit leaders today have begun to recruit and manage diverse groups of volunteers using new technologies.
  • Vote: An indication of choice, opinion, or will on a question, such as the choosing of a candidate, by or as if by some recognized means such as a ballot. For more information on voting and US presidential elections See US Elections
  • Voter: A person who can or does vote.
  • W 
  • War Powers Resolution: A U.S. law passed in 1973 by Congress asserting congressional authority over the power of the president to order hostile military action (in response to the conduct of the Vietnam War).
  • Watchdogs: Groups that monitor governmental agencies and sometimes lobby on behalf of the general public. These groups can function as "public interest groups"  or as a "citizens' group" that seeks to further the collective good without benefiting their own members. Individuals who uncover violations of regulations, or unacceptable behavior, are often called "whistle blowers." Ethnic groups, lobbies, anti-defamation organizations, and minorities have also created watchdog groups to monitor the media, legislative issues, competing interest groups, etc. in order to defend their interests. An example of an international watchdog body is the United Nations atomic watchdog agency, known as The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • Washington, D.C.: The letters "D.C." stand for District of Columbia. The district is located in the northeastern United States, and includes Capitol Hill where the main building (the Capitol) which contains both houses of Congress is located. Interstate 495, known as the "Beltway," is the highway that surrounds Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia is not one of the 50 state's of the U.S., and it should not be confused with Washington State (whose state capital is Olympia) and which is located in the western region of America.

  • X 
  • Xenophobia: Hatred or fear of foreigners, or their politics, or culture.
  • Y 
  • Z
  • Zionism: The basic idea of Zion is an ancient Jewish tradition, however Zionism emerged in the late 19th-century. It was created by secular intellectuals who rebelled against traditional Judaism (which taught that Jews had been exiled from Jerusalem as divine punishment for their sins) as a political movement for the establishment and support of a national homeland for Jews in Palestine. Zionism is also known as a policy of nationalism and as a movement for Jews to return to Palestine from the Diaspora. This policy was supported by politically and financially powerful Jewish lobbies in Western countries. Zionism is now concerned chiefly with the development of the modern state of Israel. It can also refer to the internal politics of Israel.


          * Some of the definitions above are attributed to The Statesman's Yearbook edited by Barry Turner,
          and to American Government by Peter Woll & Sidney E. Zimmerman, McGraw Hill, Inc.



Underline Words:

A

Activist: A self-motivated person who is strongly committed to a cause, or political party, and takes vigorous action on its behalf. Activists are often the core of many organizations and are the members who are best informed concerning the activities of the organization, and have the greatest expectations. Grassroots activism is a pillar of civil society and a means for lobbies to advance their interests.

Advertising: The use of advertisements and advertising which creates publicity is an effective tool of lobbyists. Announcements, short films, and other methods employed in the media are used by advertising agencies to make political issues publicly known. Advertising agencies can also undertake market research on behalf of clients.

Advertising agency: These agencies provide advertisers with a wide range of communications services such as copywriting, art, production, market research, media planning and buying, public relations, and sales promotion. Although advertising and PR are two different disciplines, many ad agencies promote themselves as "marketing communications" firms who provide both public relations and advertising services (note: while advertising agencies pay the media to present their message, PR firms do not pay for coverage in the media since PR firms rely on a greater number of communication tools).

Advocacy: The act of arguing in favor of a particular point of view, or action. Advocacy means being a voice on issues that matter to people. Lobbying is sometimes defined as advocacy of a point of view, either by groups or individuals.

Advocacy group: An organization arguing in favor of a particular political agenda or point of view.

Advocate: Someone who gives active support and who argues in favor of a particular cause, course of action, or set of beliefs.

Anti-defamation: To counter and prevent an attack to a person's (group or organization) good name or reputation. To fight libel and slander.

B

Biased: A source whose opinion is so self-serving or slanted that it may not be fair or objective.

C

Citizens' groups: These groups are similar to lobbies because they function as a pressure group. They seek to secure political objectives which are in the interests of people other than themselves. Citizens' groups often attempt to help society as a whole, acting as advocates on behalf of the public and as watchdogs. These associations are sometimes called "promotional groups" based around an idea or sometimes a single issue, with no occupational basis of membership.

Civics: The study of the roles, rights, responsibilities of citizenship and government. Citizenship education.

Civil society (civil society institutions): Autonomous institutions representing organized groups that are voluntarily organized by society, which come together to advance their common interests through collective action. Refers to the totality of civic and social organizations, or the network of institutions, that operate independently from government or the state, which advocate and take action primarily for social development and public interest. Some definitions include businesses and social movements. Civil society can be organized at the local, national or international level. The growing interest in civil society has become a global trend. Since the 1990's, civil society has emerged in countries where communism collapsed. The development of civil society, and expression of divergent interests of NGO's, is coming to be seen as a significant criterion of the development of democracy. Civil society is made up of civic groups such as NGO's, private voluntary organizations (PVO's), citizens' groups, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, trade unions, civic clubs, charities, humanitarian and disaster relief organizations, social and sports clubs, cultural and religious groups, environmental groups, ideological groups, professional associations, academia, educational bodies, parents and teachers associations, policy institutions, lobbies, the media, consumer organizations, senior citizens' groups, issue-based activist groups, and organized local communities. The UN and EU are giving civil society institutions a voice at the policy-making tables around the world. As Cold War ideological paradigms dissolve, we are witnessing an expansion of civil society from national to global civil society.
Centre for Civil Society definition: Civil society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. In theory, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state, family and market, though in practice, the boundaries between state, civil society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated. Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power. Civil societies are often populated by organizations such as registered charities, development non-governmental organizations, community groups, women's organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, trades unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy group.
Global civil society: The extension of civil society from national to global, regional and transnational forms, involving the development of globalist culture, ideology and politics. Greenpeace is an example of the emergence of a transnational civil society with a globalist orientation. Many organizations with a global orientation foster universal values. They may also seek ethnical approaches to international relations and fighting world poverty, oppose weapons developments and war, and strive for humane globalization and global governance.

Common good: The term describes a goal or an object of policy that is in the interests of everyone in a society. It is related to terms such as "public interest" and "general will."

Communications: To impart knowledge, exchange information and ideas. Different techniques and methods are used by communications experts.

Constituents: Members of the district from which an official is elected. The people served by a representative or senator.
Constituency: A legislative district or the residents of such a district. The elected public official is in pubic office as a result of the support, financial backing, and votes of his or her constituency.

Consulting: Consulting is done by a "consultant" who is a specialist that gives expert advice and information. The consultant acts in an advisory capacity on professional matters. In addition to management consulting, the proliferation of political consulting firms demonstrates the increasing professionalization of electoral politics. One controversial issue is that these profit-making firms may have no base or interest in the candidate's constituency or home district, and often take the place of established party organizations and traditional volunteer campaign staff.

Contribution (donation): To give support (money, ideas, etc) for a common purpose or fund. People who give money are known as "donors" or "contributors." Individuals and most organizations in the U.S. are restricted in the amount of money they can give directly to a candidate in one year.

Credibility: The extent to which a speaker, organization, etc, is believed to be competent and trustworthy.

D

Defamation: Defamation is any false statement about a person (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule, or inflicts injury on reputation. To attack, accuse, and cause injury to a person's, or a groups, good name or reputation. Also can mean libel and slander. A person filing a defamation suit usually must prove that: (1) the false statement was communicated to others through print, broadcast, or electronic means; (2) the person was identified or is identifiable; (3) there is actual injury in the form of money losses, loss of reputation, or mental suffering; and (4) the person making the statement was malicious or negligent.
Libel & Slander: Traditionally, libel was a printed falsehood and "slander" was an oral statement that was false. Today, there is little difference and the term "defamation" is used as a collective term. Defamation is any false statement about a person (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule, or inflicts injury on reputation. A person's reputation can be harmed by the use of print, broadcast, or pictures. Libel is an offense that is punishable by criminal law in the U.S., and subject to civil prosecution for damages.

Disinformation: Information and material that is based on falsehoods and untruths. The deliberate falsification of information. Misinformation.

E

Empowerment: To enable, or to give power or authority. To give the ability. Having power means having the ability to choose among alternatives, to influence decision-making, and to exercise control over situations.

F

Fairness: An ethnical ground rule; making a genuine effort to see all sides of an issue; being open minded.

Funding: Government grants or private sources of money, from the public or the private sector.

Fund-raising: To gather a sum of money and other resources.

G

Grassroots: The power of ordinary people in influencing their political leaders. When average citizens seek to express their views by contacting their representatives about issues of public concern (often individuals are urged to do so by grassroots lobbying activities). Grassroots is the base or fundamental root of political power; in a democracy, it is the people. The term grassroots is often used to refer to average citizens. Related terms: Grassroots lobbying, grassroots activism, grassroots mobilization.

Grassroots lobbying: This is an attempt through collective action to influence legislation and/or to affect the opinions of the general public. Some grassroots lobbying tools include: "Calls-To-Action," press releases, sending "Action Alerts" to the media, targeting the media with PR campaigns, coalition building, advocacy advertising, bulk faxing, organizing calls to representatives, computerized direct mail, and letters from the public to EU officials and/or members of European Parliament, the White House, and governmental regulatory agencies. Grassroots lobbying occurs when an organization asks the public to support, oppose, or otherwise influence legislation by contacting elected and appointed officials. A grassroots lobbying effort is usually triggered by a "Call-To-Action" which directs ordinary people to act in a certain way. NGO's often send out an action alert to the media, public, donors, and other NGO's asking them to support their advocacy position and urge them to take a specific action. In contrast, "Direct Lobbying" occurs when an organization communicates its position with regard to legislation, or legislative proposals, directly with legislators, legislative staff, executive branch officials, and executive staff.

Grassroots mobilization: Grassroots mobilization takes place when actions are taken to organize ordinary citizens with the aim of putting them in motion. These actions aim to gain support for a specific lobbying need or for advocacy purposes. Grassroots activities and mobilization may attempt to shape public opinion that is favorable to a desired legislative goal (or against it) by encouraging members of a group to call, or write, to their representative, or to visit their district representative or state senator. Therefore, grassroots mobilization involves organized and coordinated efforts by lobbies to encourage constituents to contact their representatives by writing letters, sending faxes and e-mails, gathering in public, and using other lobbying tools. Indirect lobbying by the Turkish lobby requires effective grassroots mobilization.

H

I

Influence: The act, power, or capacity of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force (i.e. using money, power, credibility, facts, reason, emotional appeal, or even misinformation). Inspirational speeches are very effective in motivating an audience and encouraging them to act.
Persuasion: The process of influencing attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavior. The act or ability to move by argument to a belief, position, or course of action. To urge or convince (i.e. by using sound arguments, or marketing strategies). Psychological factors play an important role in persuasion. Anti-Turkish lobbies often enhance their means of influence with appeals to emotion in order to capture greater attention and stimulate a desire to act.

Interest group, special interest group: An organized collection of people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of influencing government policy. The term is used to refer to lobbying groups. Targets of these lobbying groups often include the general public, legislative lobbying, or media lobbying. Different means are used, such as electronic lobbying, coalition building, think-tanks, advertising, or public relations campaigns.
Special interest groups: Individuals, groups, or organizations with particular points of view who seek specific goals, just as a lobby does. Special interest groups seek to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests. The use of this term is often in a derogatory sense due to a belief that such groups are more committed to their own goals than to the public good. Some election reformers are dissatisfied because the system allows special interests to influence public policy in ways that can be dangerous.

Issue (media advocacy): Issue advocacy seeks to use the media to influence public opinion and generate public awareness of an issue, cause, or matter of particular concern to an individual, group, or organization (the issue is often a subject of controversy). Issue/media advocacy is the strategic use of media as a resource for advancing a social or public policy initiative. Issue advocacy can also be called media advocacy. Individuals who support a position are often called "issue advocates."

J

K

L

Lobby, Lobbying, Lobbyist
Lobby: (used as a verb) "To lobby" means to apply pressure, present arguments, or other incentives to try to make a political decision-maker favor the position of the lobby. "To lobby" means to try to influence or convince lawmakers or governmental bodies to take a specific action.
Lobby: (used as a noun) As a noun, a "lobby" is an organized collection of people with similar concerns who join together for the purpose of influencing government policy. Many of these groups seek to promote legislation, or political action, or to change public opinion in order to promote their own ideas, interests, agenda, and welfare. Lobbies carry out the function of "interest articulation." The activity they are engaged in is known as "lobbying." A lobby is often called an "interest group," or sometimes a "special interest group," or a "pressure group." Lobbies can also be referred to as "ethnic interest groups," "organized interests," and "single interest groups." These groups strategically use and transmit information to achieve their goals (activities can be nationwide, local, global, or within the EU). There are different types of lobbying such as legislative lobbying and media lobbying, as well as different targets such as the general public or community leaders. The definition of a lobby, and the activity of lobbying sometimes is a matter of differing interpretation. A lobby can mean a group, person, or firm which is registered to lobby in the U.S., or a lobby can mean an informal organization of people. One definition of lobbying is limited to direct attempts to influence lawmakers by direct contact and face-to-face meetings with lawmakers in order to influence the passage or defeat of legislation. This includes communication with any member or employee of a legislative body or government official who may participate in the formulation of the legislation. Another definition of lobbying includes indirect attempts, such as grassroots pressure and mobilization, coalition building, advertising, public relations, the use of mass media, and electronic lobbying. Indirect lobbying and supporting political campaigns can be done by various groups such as corporations, trade associations, professional associations, unions, governmental organizations, policy institutes, think-tanks, NGO's, and non-profit organizations. The most effective type of lobbying is all-directional lobbying, or multiple-target advocacy and pressure (a combination of direct influence and targeting the public arena). This requires interrelated strategies. There is ongoing debate over whether lobbies serve the public interest because they often represent interests that seek objectives and outcomes which benefit narrow sectors in society. Lobbies have also been criticized for the selective information they sometimes transmit to pressure members of Congress. Targets of influence are sometimes called lobbying contacts. The plural of the word lobby is "lobbies."
Lobby (Turkish lobby USA): The general definition of the Turkish lobby consists of two lobbying groups. The first group is made-up of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. that are hired by the Turkish government. The other group refers to the Turkish-American community in the U.S., which is estimated to be somewhere between 300,000-400,000. It is estimated that only 50,000 to 80,000 Turkish-Americans vote in the U.S. elections. The community is represented by many Turkish-American organizations which have been established in different states of the U.S. (these associations are based on different interests, such as cultural, business, medical, scientific, or educational). In 1979, when the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) was established in Washington, D.C., many Turkish-American organizations became members, enabling the ATAA to act and serve as an umbrella organization. The ATAA has represented the Turkish community in the capital, in federal and state governments, and interacted with the media and the pubic. Because a large percentage of Turkish-Americans live in the northeastern U.S., especially near New York State, the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA), based in New York City, has been active in coordinating grassroots activities. The Turkish-American community can be divided into two groups: those who have come from the Turkish Republic, and those who have come to America from areas outside Turkey, such as Cyprus, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The estimated figure of these groups combined is 500,000-600,000 (only a small percentage are U.S. citizens, but are often referred to as Turkish-Americans).

Lobbying: To conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials on legislation. Hired lobbyists, public relations firms, and grassroots movements all participate in lobbying for the purpose of influencing government policy and public opinion.
Lobbying (USA): The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1994, increased the disclosure requirements for lobbyists operating in the U.S. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of lobbying they conduct. The disclosure also makes public the areas in which a lobbyist works for a client, who the client is, and how much the lobbyist is paid for his work. Lobbyists are required to register under the law if: 1) they receive more than $5,000 from a client for lobbying over a six-month period; 2) they have frequent contacts with congressional staff, members, or executive branch officials; 3) and more than 20% of their time working for a client involves lobbying. Any group that has its own lobbyists in-house must register once expenses on lobbying exceed $20,500 in six months. A person, or a firm, who conducts lobbying on behalf of a foreign government, and who represent the interests of foreign countries on Capitol Hill, or with the executive branch, is known as a "foreign agent." They are subject to disclosure regulations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department. Foreign commercial interests that meet all the criteria under the U.S. Lobbying Disclosure Act must register with the House or the Senate.
Lobbying (EU): Lobbying in the U.S. seeks to promote or secure the passage of legislation in Congress, but lobbying targets can be members of a legislative body anywhere in the world, such as representatives of the European Union (it should be noted that despite the co-decision procedure, the European Parliament is not fully authorized to make laws and works as a co-legislature with the EU's Council of Ministers). Because many European Union institutions and bodies are located in Brussels, most European-wide lobbying organizations have their headquarters there. Brussels-based lobbying has been attracting attention since the 1990's. Corporations, PR firms, trade associations, commercial and industrial interests, consumer protection organizations, human rights groups, animal welfare activists, aid organizations, and single-issues lobbies all have representative offices in Brussels. The emergence of new technologies has also made NGO's aware of how important the battle for public opinion is, as they compete for media attention in order to communicate effectively with EU citizens and the world. Despite the growth of professional lobbying firms in Brussels, their impact on decisions and how they operate have not been extensively examined. Although the European Commission has a list of hundreds of bodies it consults, there is no official register of recognized lobbies (or pressure groups) that is produced by the Commission or European Parliament. According to CONECCS (Consultation, the European Community and Civil Society) over 1,000 interests groups are active. Yet over 10,000 (perhaps up to 20,000) people are believed to be engaged in "interest representation," the majority being business groups. The Commission sometimes funds these bodies and actively works with them to encourage cultivating loyalties to the European level. Many lobbying firms are hired to monitor developments in a particular EU subject-area, to enable access to decision-makers, arrange meetings, suggest contacts, and assist in advocacy of a case. Click here to view accredited lobbyists to the European Parliament
Lobbyist: A lobbyist is a person, or firm, that is employed by a particular interest to advocate a specific policy, measure, or point of view to an elected lawmaker or governmental body. A lobbyist attempts to influence voting on legislation, or the decisions of government administrators. Lobbyists seek "to lobby" by using effective methods to influence their targets. Lobbyists must register with the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, depending on the type of lobbying they conduct. Professional lobbyists are paid to actively pursue the interests of the group they are working on behalf of (for example the Turkish government has regularly hired lobbyists, most recently the Livingston Group in Washington D.C., to supplement the official embassy representation. This lobbying firm is headed by a former Republican Congressman from Louisiana, Bob Livingston. The Livingston Group merged with The Solomon Group in 2002). There are more than 12,000 active lobbyists working in Washington at every level of government. A lobbyist is sometimes called a lobbyer.

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Marketing: The process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service. The goal is to attract and satisfy customers (or clients) on a long-term basis in order to achieve an organization's economic objectives. The fundamental aim of marketing is to build and maintain markets for an organization's products or services. "Marketing research" is conducted in order to study the means of promoting a product or service.

Mass communication: Communication generated by media organizations that is designed to reach large audiences. Mass media are the means by which mass communication takes place, where large numbers of people receive information in a short period of time. Television, radio news broadcasts, and mass rallies are examples of mass communication. As new technologies emerge, the means by which mass communication takes place is transforming.

Mass media: The part of the media that appeals to very large numbers of people. The role of mass media in civil society is extremely important because participation in a democracy and civil society depends on the openness of communications media and on a diversity of information sources and opinions.

Media advocacy: Media advocacy seeks to use the media to influence public opinion and generate public awareness of an issue, cause, or matter of particular concern to an individual, group, or organization (the issue is often a subject of controversy). Media advocacy is the strategic use of media as a resource for advancing a social or public policy initiative. Media advocacy can also be called issue advocacy.

Mobilization (mobilizing): To prepare and assemble for action, such as to mobilize support for a cause.

Movement: A series of organized events working toward an objective. An organized effort to promote or attain an end (ex: the civil rights movement).

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NGO, Non-governmental organization: An organization (often led by volunteers) with no fundamental ties to government which seeks to meet human and social needs, whose primary goal is not commercial. Through involvement in voluntary associations and the use of advanced communication technology, individuals are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the agenda and character of world politics. NGO's derive their dynamism from social participation and social cohesion, in a world that is becoming smaller and more diverse. Because of their increasing number, NGO's are playing an important role in the emergence of a global civil society. Although there is no internationally agreed definition of the concept of a "global civil society," the impact of their transnational activity has clearly been felt within the United Nations and European Union, as NGO activity acquires global political significance and shapes the development of societies, individual attitudes and behavior.

Non-profit organization: An organization, foundation or endowment, whose activities are not for the purpose of making a profit. They play a vital role in fulfilling community needs that are not met by commercial enterprises (private sector) or governmental entities (public sector). Leaders and staff are often non-paid volunteers. These organizations may be entirely funded by voluntary donations and often give grants. In the U.S. most non-profit philanthropic and voluntary organizations have a tax exempt status, often possessing tax code numbers 501 (c)(3) and (4) or 527. Lobbying is permitted to definable limits, so non-profits can be part of the legislative process, but are not allowed to participate in the political election of candidates. Also known as "not-for-profit," or "non-profit," or "non-profit org."

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Outreach: Reaching out. Some agencies or services provide outreach programs, designed as quality of life supplements (they usually seeks to aid less fortunate members of society such as the poor, homeless, the elderly, veterans, or teenagers who are in need of counseling, fighting substance-abuse, or family violence).

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Paradigm: Paradigms are models or patterns of various cultures. They determine values, norms, provide regulations, and influence how we think and act. The properties of a particular paradigm may change when viewed from different perspectives. Many strategists believe that since the collapse of communism we are entering a new global paradigm (and should be prepared for an accelerated process of change). Other thinkers point to a new struggle between two different paradigms that entails a clash between a multilateralism oriented European Union, and unilateralist U.S., with competing interests in Asia. Organizations and lobbies should be able to anticipate impending paradigm shifts, deal with change, adapt and take opportunity of major trends as they emerge. An atmosphere of uncertainty, confusion, and unknowns can result in paralyses and inaction. In order to take action that can have an impact on the future, trend trackers need to ask: What are the important issues that Turkey, Europe, Asia, the U.S., and rest of the world will be confronted with in the 21st century and beyond?

Perception: The act of becoming aware or conscious of something. The way information from the external world is provided can be manipulated in a way so as to have an impact on how it might be observed or interpreted by the individual.

Pressure group: A group of people who seek to exert pressure on legislators, public opinion, etc, in order to promote their own ideas, agenda, and welfare.

Proactive: The act of taking initiative. Taking charge. An approach in which future events can be planned for, and even managed, as opposed to a reactive response to change (often seen during crisis management).

Propaganda: Propaganda is any organized or concerted group effort or movement to spread a particular doctrine or a system of doctrines or principles. Information is represented in such a way as to provoke a desired response. Information and techniques are intentionally and purposefully used to promote a cause, or to injure or enhance the reputation of a group, individual, or even a country. The information may distort the facts, or may not tell the entire story, in order to suit the purposes of the sender (propagandist). Propaganda is often spread through a systematic and organized method of dissemination of selective information and/or allegations, to assist or damage the cause of a government, a movement, or for other motives. Propaganda is therefore a systematic attempt to manipulate public opinion, attitudes, beliefs, and actions of people, through the use of various methods. Propaganda is distinguished from educating or informing because it is deliberate selectivity that can include manipulation. Propaganda is sometimes referred to as public diplomacy, or public affairs. Related terms: public diplomacy, public affairs, public relations, persuasion, advertising, political campaigns, PR campaigns, disinformation, misinformation, public opinion, mass persuasion, mass media campaign, propaganda war, psychological operations, pysops, information warfare.

Public diplomacy: Public diplomacy is made-up of government-sponsored programs intended to inform or influence public opinion in other countries (often with the use of films, cultural exchanges, radio and television). Public diplomacy plays an important role in foreign affairs, in supporting the foreign policies of a country, and in safeguarding and advancing its interests. Official government efforts aim to shape the communications environment around the world in order to reduce the degree to which misperceptions and misunderstandings complicate a countries relations with other nations. Public diplomacy is designed to incite a particular reaction or action in the target audience. Central to public diplomacy is the transnational flow of information and ideas, usually one-way and informational, as in a mass media campaign. Public diplomacy is sometimes called propaganda. Ministries of culture, as well as institutions such as the Alliance Francaise, British Council, Goethe Institute, Cervantes Instituto, can be considered actors in public diplomacy. Related terms: propaganda, public affairs, public relations, persuasion, advertising, political campaigns, PR campaigns, disinformation, misinformation, public opinion, mass persuasion, mass media campaign, propaganda war, psychological operations, pysops, information warfare.

Public interest groups: These groups have arisen to protect and represent the general "public interest," and tend to be associated with the promotion of particular causes. They are counter balancing forces to lobbies which many claim have made Congress a captive of interest groups. The aim of public interest groups is to lobby for the people. Public interest groups were present during the past two centuries, however, they have been particularly active since the late 1960's. Their objective is to benefit the larger society and not special interest groups (to disprove that "everybody's organized but the people"). Public interest groups have warned that special interests (many whose aim is economic profit) exercise undue influence over governmental decisions, and the lives of the powerless majority. Some well-known groups have been Common Cause, and Ralph Nader groups under the umbrella of Public Citizen Inc, which have focused on "clean government," accountability, consumer, environmental and social policy issues. In the 1980's conservative single-issue public interest groups became more active, such as the National Right to Life Committee. The ACLU and NAACP are also public interest groups since they do not operate for profit and seek to advance the public interest in civil rights and civil liberties. Many public interest groups desire to represent groups or interests in society previously unrepresented, or underrepresented in the political process. Analysts of the political process point out that the federal budget is not sufficiently supporting programs of public interest groups.
Watchdogs: Groups that monitor governmental agencies and lobbies on behalf of the general public. These groups can function as "public interest groups" or as a "citizens' group" that seeks to further the collective good without benefiting their own members. Individuals who uncover violations of regulations, or unacceptable behavior, are often called "whistle blowers."

Public opinion: The attitude of the public, especially as a factor in determining the actions of government.

Public policy: Actions undertaken by officials in the public interest.

Public relations (PR): The practice of creating, promoting, or maintaining goodwill and a favorable image among the public for an institution, country, product, organization, etc. The basic components of public relations are: counseling management; researching attitudes and behaviors; media relations; publicity; employee relations; community relations; public affairs; government affairs; issues management; financial relations; industry relations; fund-raising; multicultural relations; special events; and marketing communications. Other terms used for PR: corporate communications, public affairs, communication, corporate relations, corporate public affairs, corporate marketing and communications, public information, community relations, or media relations.

Public speaking: The art or practice of making speeches to large audiences. A type of communication in which a speaker delivers a message with a specific purpose to an audience who is present during the delivery. Often in lobbying, a persuasive speech is part of a presentation whose message is designed to change or influence the audience's opinion and/or behavior (it may also reinforce an audience's thoughts, feelings, or actions). The audience might be encouraged to see the world from the speaker's standpoint and to understand issues from the speaker's perspective. The speaker may also engage the audience in a discussion about an idea, concern, or plan of action).

Publicity: Information about an event, individual, group, product, or service, that appears as a news item or feature story in the mass media (material is usually prepared by PR professionals). Publicity is news, and should be free. Publicity is the technique, or process, of attracting public attention, often by the use of the mass media. It is often also referred to as public relations, promotion, and advertising. Publicity is a means of disseminating planned messages through selected media to further the organization's interests.

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Reactive: A reactive response to an event, or issue, usually emerges because initiative was not taken, and individuals, organizations, or institutions are unprepared for change. A reactive approach is one in which future events are not anticipated or managed, nor are plans devised for a response to developments and changes (reactive responses are often seen during crisis management).

Realpolitik: Politics of realism, sometimes without regard to moral values. A state's own interests. A ruthlessly realistic and opportunist approach to statesmanship, rather than a moralistic approach. There are a variety of other approaches to international relations such as, multilateral, unilateral, isolationist, internationalist, and idealist.

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Social movements: Collective actors in civil society distinguished by mass mobilization or participation as their prime source of social power, typically concerned to defend or change society, or the relative position of a group within society. Social movements can be seen as a major international actor after states and transnational corporations. Despite their informal and spontaneous character, social movements have been able to maximize their leverage by creating coalitions with other movements and networks.

Stereotype: A standardized image or conception. Oversimplified and distorted ideas. A stereotype is usually a broad generalization about an entire group based on limited knowledge, or limited exposure. A stereotype creates an association, or suggests an idea or notion, often not flattering or true of a group of people. Stereotyping usually takes place when assumptions about someone are made based upon such factors as race or gender.

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Trend: General tendency or direction. A predictable sequence of events (in comparison to a one-time event). Seemingly unrelated events can often have economic, social, and political significance which trend trackers evaluate. Without an openness to new ideas, myopia and subjectivity can lead to a failure to see trends or paradigm shifts, resulting in inaction.

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Voluntary: Performed, undertaken, or brought about by free choice, willingly, and without compulsion.

Volunteer: A person who willingly assists an organization. The success of many non-profit organizations often depends on the hard work of its volunteers. Non-profit leaders today have begun to recruit and manage diverse groups of volunteers using new technologies.

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Watchdogs: Groups that monitor governmental agencies and lobbies on behalf of the general public. These groups can function as "public interest groups" or as a "citizens' group" that seeks to further the collective good without benefiting their own members. Individuals who uncover violations of regulations, or unacceptable behavior, are often called "whistle blowers."

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