Sometimes they lie. Sometimes they launder money. Often they hide their donors’ and “members'” identities. Often they adopt misleading names and logos. Often they’re fronts for Big Business and the rich, not the common people they claim to represent to you. Sometimes they actually don’t lobby, but instead illegally influence actual elections.

Such ‘fake-grass-roots’ projects are called “astroturf“!

When you’re a government official and someone’s lobbying you, you want to know whom they’re representing – you want the whole story. If you’re elected, or your boss is, you want to know just how many votes are on which side of the issue, because corporations can’t vote (yet), and rich people can still only vote once (legally).

Why no full disclosure?!! What are they hiding?!!

That’s why I urge you to take a look at this report from Public Citizen (PDF). Both party leaders in the U.S. Senate want professional lobbyists to fully disclose when they try to rally the voters, and to what degree. There’s nothing here about churches or parachurch organizations that don’t otherwise meet the legal definition as professional lobbyists of government (unless the rich and corporations start laundering the money through them). And there’s nothing here about you or your family or friends or Address Book Contacts or even true membership-organizations you actually belong to (unless they start laundering the money through you!).

This isn’t a “liberal” or “conservative” thing, it isn’t a “Christian” or “secular” thing. Then again, maybe it is: It’s plain honesty. “The truth will set you free.”

{Really though, for-profit corporations shouldn’t be allowed to influence the political/governmental process at all on their own initiative, just like tax-free houses of worship can’t endorse or oppose candidates or parties up for election. (I mean, unless they’ve been asked by government to give input in areas of their expertise, say on proposed changes in laws or regulations, e.g., invited to testify at a legislative hearing or something.) Corporations couldn’t – legally – until the mid-1800s, when they bribed State legislatures to lift that restriction on them. This is because they were initially seen as creatures of the government, the sovereign that Chartered them for limited, public needs – and only secondarily for private greed, only so far as it helped meet the single public need for which they were granted the Temporary Privilege of Incorporation. In the beginning it would’ve made as much sense for a corporation to seek to do more than one thing, as for the trash man to start taking dictation at City Hall offices at the same time, and to start investigating murders at the same time too. And it would’ve made as much sense for a corporation to start pressuring government, as for that same trash man to start issuing Executive Orders and signing bills into law, without being elected to do so.}