General Question

drhat77's avatar

Should I contribute money to a Lobbying organization?

Asked by drhat77 (6195points) September 29th, 2013

I get mail frequently to contribute money to AMPAC, the American Medical Association’s Lobbying organization. I have not given them money, and I feel this is because I have been inundated with messages like lobbies and special interests are the problem in our country, blah blah blah.
I know that’s too broad a stroke to paint on every lobby, but I feel especially industrial and professional lobbies are protectionist in nature instead of trying to solve problems. They say “you can’t enact this, or enact that, because it’s good for our organization”, but they never try to think of plans which compromise and suggest alternatives. AMPAC is working hard to repeal the SGR, and I’m sure doctors offices will feel the bite if the SGR hits next year, but they are not suggesting where the money to fund the repeal should come from.
Have my brains been buffeted too much by political campaign ads? Or should I not become part of the problem?

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11 Answers

DWW25921's avatar

Do what you believe in and think is right. All I ask is that you do it out of your own understanding and not because of the opinions and beliefs of others. You seem pretty well versed on the subject and I don’t personally see why not.

drhat77's avatar

I just hate that the lobby seems to think that if they pull funding from some other pot, that’s “not their problem”.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ve never been a member of the AMA. I don’t have a problem, though, with contributing to a lobbying organization if its a cause you believe in.

ETpro's avatar

@drhat77 I’m with you. I don’t give money to lobbying organizations unless I completely agree with what they are trying to do. I have supported the Foundation for Reason and Science and Electronic Frontier Foundation in their fight to preserve Net Neutrality. I’m a member of AARP and back their efforts to preserve Medicare and Social Security. But I look long and hard at what a special interest group actually lobbies for before giving them money to do it.

Coloma's avatar

No. You should contribute to:

DCGITC

Depressed country girls in the city.

A worthy cause and I am accepting donations now.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess if they are lobbying for something you really believe in it is ok. I personally am wary of all those organizations. I care about the greater good more than anything usually, and lobbying organizations usually don’t.

elbanditoroso's avatar

In general, no.

First, they will say that they are lobbying on your behalf. But the question is – will they poll you and check on your opinions before the lobby? Or do they go off on their own and do what they want regardless of the positions of the members who pay the bills?

Second, how effective are they? My feeling is that lobbying is sort of a low percentage game. How successful has their lobbying been previously? Or are you just throwing money away?

Finally, what percentage of your membership/fee actually goes to lobbying, and what percent to fund raising and office work? The percentage would have to be pretty darned high for me to give money.

drhat77's avatar

@elbanditoroso it’s not just a matter of success for my ends that matters to me. Assuming that the lobby was considered very successful, should I give to it because it’s success will cause money to come from other funds in a manner I do not control. So my lobby may inadvertently defund some other important social program, but not think that’s a problem, or at least not their problem.

ETpro's avatar

@drhat77 That’s why I am pretty much against lobbying. The only problem is that those of good conscience worry about such things, and greedy bastards could care less. People like the Koch Brothers and the Walton family (the two wealthiest groups in America, and willing to spend billions to make sure that they get lots more money regardless of how many children live in poverty and lack the nutrition to even marginally benefit from education. I don’t plan to concede the field to the likes of those psychopaths.

ragingloli's avatar

No. You should instead work towards making lobbying (a.k.a. bribery) illegal.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli And that I am doing. I do contribute to a constitutional amendment to do that. It wouldn’t be needed, because bribery is already illegal. But we have a Supreme court with a majority of Republican appointees, so now corporations are people and money is speech.

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