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Element 43. Government Relevance > Relevance—Why Add This Element?

Relevance—Why Add This Element?

Consider the wisdom of having a statute that makes it illegal to compete with you. Within certain well-defined bounds, this is exactly what happens. There are literally thousands of incredibly gifted people in Washington, the state capitals, and the cities and counties throughout America practicing an art of persuading legislators and politicians to protect their clients. We call them lobbyists, a term born in the 19th century when legislators met with them in the lobby of the Willard Hotel in Washington.

Working with politicians is sometimes a game of first come, first served, and you have to move quickly. Elected officials, including especially the congressional delegations in Washington, often have access to the tops of every key company or institution in America. Lobbying can also mean trouble with ambush and showstoppers as well as competitors—so do your homework before you approach these people (if you are fortunate, your biggest antagonist will be in another district governed by a member of the opposing political party[1]). There is enormous horsepower residing here. Be careful, but trust that new jobs, revenue streams, and potential new campaign contributors might be sufficiently attractive to the politician to prove valuable for you and your investors in winning their support. To be sure, you must beware of the fundraising realities of their lives but jobs and value creation are often so important to them that they will do what they can to ensure your success (with the unstated expectation that success will result in campaign contributions). Make certain that you understand and honor the political flags—note whether the politician is Democrat or Republican (don’t think that this political flag business is not important). Finally, there are trade associations such as National Small Business United whose mission it is to lobby small business issues on your behalf nationwide. You should always be aware of their “hot button” issues of the day because those issues probably apply to you too.

[1] They have to be over there in the other district or else they are not likely to be very powerful. Right? They will not be able to take the floor and make the case for your position. This is why they call it political science.


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