THOSE WHO CANNOT REMEMBER the past…cannot lobby effectively. That’s why Lobbyists.info recently unveiled its latest feature: historical links between staffers, federal lobbyists, and members of Congress going back to 1987. Since lobbyists’ connections to lawmakers can matter just as much as their skills and experience, this is a crucial resource.
Why are these historical links so valuable? For one, lawmakers are staying on the Hill for longer than they used to. A report by the Federation of American Scientists found that the average years of service for members of the 113th Congress is 9.1 for the House and 10.2 for the Senate. If you want to lobby on a piece of legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and a lobbyist you’re thinking of hiring was a staffer for Henry Waxman in 1993, then that historical link may play a crucial role in picking the right advocate.
With the revolving door between staffers and lobbyists spinning at cyclone speed, the links between former staffers and Congress have become vital to understanding the influence game. It’s increasingly clear that understanding these historical links can give advocates a leg up on the competition.