HOW TO LOBBY CONGRESS: A Guide for the Citizen Lobbyist by Donald E. deKieffer

HOW TO LOBBY CONGRESS: A Guide for the Citizen Lobbyist

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This latest, most calculating guide to conquering Capitol Hill is a measure of the distance from grass-roots activism to single-issue mobilizations--whose pernicious effects deKieffer, ""a professional lobbyist and lawyer,"" cites only to drop. But those with a cause and a piece of upcoming legislation to support or oppose will find him instructive on the procedure and the protocol. In terms of the ""mythological"" Flat Earth Society (opposed, naturally, to pending Round Earth legislation), he lays out what to research, and how (enlist allies--regardless of philosophical differences; investigate government agencies--for exploitable rivalries); explains how to develop an ""Action Plan"" (copies of which, like your ""resource book,"" should be closely guarded); and then proceeds to detail the techniques of handling the press, conducting letter campaigns, testifying at legislative hearings, dealing with congressional staffs, visiting congressmen, etc. There's a good deal of behind-the-scenes savvy: on making a letter campaign look spontaneous, which staffers can do what for you, keeping your own people in lille and in check. A section on money describes the snares (and loopholes) of campaigncontribution legislation--and how to make sure your contribution isn't overlooked. A section on mistakes tells how to correct a factual error or smooth ruffled feathers. Should you, after all, get professional help? DeKieffer doesn't necessarily advise it (""Remember, you have to supply the clout yourself""); but if you're in the market, he makes the lawyer-lobbyist sound like the surest thing. With a rundown of specialized, little-known resources (from legislative-process seminars to ""whip notices""), a manual that's all business--and no sentiment. By comparison, Alderson and Sentman's How You Can Influence Congress (1979) covers much the same ground somewhat less aggressively (and, perhaps, somewhat less shrewdly).

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Dodd, Mead