Lobbyists Fight Back Against Negative Stereotypes

"Washington lobbyists, having endured nearly as much verbal abuse this year from the Democratic candidates as President Bush, are fighting back against what they call unfair characterizations," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua reports. The American League of Lobbyists (ALL) asked Democratic Presidential hopefuls to stop demonizing "government relations professionals." In a letter ALL writes, "[Lobbying's] one of the major ways that politicians are held accountable to the people. Lobbyists represent all points of view on the major issues that confront the country and the Congress -- environment, labor, the elderly, teachers, veterans, as well as businesses, to name just a few." Criticizing recent campaign-trail, anti-lobbyists remarks, ALL president Deanna Gelak told PR Week, "This is over the edge. ... These comments are really exploiting outdated stereotypes and playing on some people's lack of understanding for political purposes -- and we want young people to go into government relations."