Private Ethics, Public Conduct: An Essay on Ethical Lobbying, Campaign Contributions, Reciprocity, and the Public Good

13 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2013

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Lobbying has always been a valuable, although potentially corrosive part of the legislative process. Lobbyists can help provide information and data to legislators, and also keep clients in tune with what outcomes to expect and prepare for. But lobbying activities can also be corrupting, and the potential broad public impact of these activities make it essential for lobbyists to act ethically. Although gifts and favors are strictly limited in today’s lobbying world, reciprocity still poses a potential to corrupt decision-making. The danger of reciprocity can be greatly reduced with public financing of federal congressional campaigns, limiting lobbyists’ involvement in campaign fundraising, and maximizing disclosure of lobbying activities and expenditures.

Keywords: lobbying, ethics, lobbying ethics

Suggested Citation

Susman, Thomas M., Private Ethics, Public Conduct: An Essay on Ethical Lobbying, Campaign Contributions, Reciprocity, and the Public Good (2008). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 19, No. 10, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2297480

Thomas M. Susman (Contact Author)

American Bar Association ( email )

321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610
United States

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