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WHY GEOLOGICAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF A LOBBYIST

  • Most geologists are not, by our nature, politically astute and, for that reason, will make mistakes that will be detrimental to our efforts.

  • If geologists’ legislative efforts do not employ the services of a lobbyist, they will be at a disadvantage to their opposition, who will, in virtually every case, be represented by a lobbyist.

  • Like the legal process, which requires professional services (of an attorney), the modern legislative process also requires professional services (of a lobbyist) to succeed.

  • A skilled lobbyist will know the local political climate and the key legislative and administrative players who likely will allow a bill to successfully pass or fail.

  • An effective lobbyist will manage testimony, letter-writing, and legislative visits in such a way that they are appropriate for the local political climate.

  • An effective lobbyist will ably deal with others who oppose the proposed legislation.

  • An effective lobbyist will orchestrate personal gestures that enhance the support from individual legislators.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD LOBBYIST FOR LICENSURE EFFORTS

  • Experienced and well-known by legislators, staff, and the Governor’s office.

  • Has a positive personal relationship with legislators.

  • Effective negotiator, without being confrontational and argumentative.  Conduct is such that he/she is welcome in any legislator’s office, regardless of party affiliation or positions on issues.

  • Strong supporter of government regulation and, in particular, licensure.

  • Works well (and efficiently) with clients in solving bill language problems and other issues.

  • Has a good track record with other clients.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

  • Lobbying is not tax-deductible, and expenses must be tracked.

  • Chapter dues alone may not be sufficient to cover lobbying.

  • Sharing efforts and expenses with other organizations may be advantageous.

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