Who are “shadow lobbyists?”
Today unregistered lobbyists — with a hand in disasters from the global financial crisis to the BP oil spill — often hold more sway than registered lobbyists, interest groups, and old-fashioned power brokers. They influence pivotal decisions about our finances, environment, and the wars fought in our names. The past president of the American League of Lobbyists, Paul A. Miller, acknowledges that “there’s a new way to lobby in 2011, and that includes PR consultants, grassroots consultants,” and others working outside the rules of disclosure. These shadow lobbyists are more insidious and difficult to detect, leapfrogging rules and borders and creating a loop that is virtually closed to democratic input, accountability, and monitoring. They are an affront to the public interest and the checks and balances of democratic society.