The Right to Lobby
The right to lobby is an extension of the Constitutional mandated right
to petition. There are thousands of lobbyists operating in Washington, DC on every
conceivable issue. At this time Stephen Bassett, the founder of the Paradigm Research
Group, is the only registered lobbyist in the United States representing organizations
addressing issues related to the extraterrestrial presence. In time others will follow,
because it is absolutely appropriate for this issue to be represented in this way.
The attitude of the general public toward the role of the lobbyist is
mixed. It has been influenced by substantial media coverage of excesses on the part of
some organizations relating to some issues. There are numerous misconceptions:
Lobbying is not necessary. Fact:
in a representative democracy of 300 million people, without professional efforts of
intermediaries and direct activists, the power of the people to influence government
policy would be limited primarily to the ballot box. Lost would be the ability to convey
direct viewpoints to seated politicians and agency personnel when the need was immediate. The dialogue of the election process is a slow one indeed. A lobbyist (another way of
saying representative or activist) can convey exact positions to policy makers, press the
issues consistently over time, and track results.
Lobbyists are covert. Fact:
recent laws have significantly cleaned up lobbying abuse by requiring formal registration,
limits on proportional spending by organizations, limits on gratuities and other
inducements, and much more. Lobbying is public process.
Politicians do not like lobbyists. Fact:
political office holders rely heavily on representatives of the nations vast number
of issues and causes to supply them with information and advice. They constitute a huge
resource. No politician wants to see the process abused, but few do not appreciate its
Lobbying is confined to politicians. Fact:
in todays Washington the media is a partner in the processes of government.
Influencing the policy decisions of major media is often easier and more effective than
direct approaches to officials. The media is not just the eyes and ears of the public, it
is also the spokesperson. It does and must reflect what the people want by electing to
pursue the issues the people want covered.
Every social/political issue of our time, from land mine proliferation
to Gulf War Syndrome to environmental degradation, ad infinitum, is being lobbied on
behalf of the American public 365 days a year.
Now the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomena issues are lobbied. Who dares to say they are
not important enough to be included?
For information on the process of lobbying, go to
Let America Speak
1998 Stephen Bassett and Paradigm Research Group