Book Review
Guide to State Legislative Lobbying
by Robert L. Guyer

Reviewed by Robert T. Smithing, MSN, NP
ISBN #: 0-9677242-0-1
List Price: $50.00
Copyright: 1999
Publication Date: March 2000
Website: Effective State Lobbying

The Guide to State Legislative Lobbying is an excellent resource for understanding and planning a campaign of legislative activity for nurse practitioners. At 205 pages, it is reasonably succinct, yet addresses all of the essential components of successful lobbying. It is liberally laced with flow charts and a detailed discussion of the step-by-step process of lobbying, which is sufficient to provide understanding, even to those who are legislative novices. At the same time, there are pearls of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book which would be useful to those with extensive experience in lobbying and managing legislative activity.

The book starts out with an overview of the preparation that needs to be done for any lobbying campaign, and then goes on to discuss what lobbying is, assessing your chances of success, and developing the lobbying campaign. There is a chapter that includes hiring and working with contract lobbyists, which provides insight into the sometimes difficult challenge of hiring the appropriate individual to represent you. There is also a chapter on negotiation with a useful review of techniques that may be used when you are negotiating for your bill with individuals who oppose it. Especially helpful in this chapter are some suggestions on how to respond to the different negotiation strategies that may be used against you.

The next major section of the book, "Making Laws Into Ideas", goes through the legislative procedure, how to do lobbying visits, working with legislative committees, and finally a summary of activities that need to be done in getting the bill from its inception into a law, and the follow-up you need to do post-session, whether you are successful or not. There is also an extensive glossary to help bring meaning to the otherwise cryptic jargon which one may confront with legislative activity. Overall the book is well written, easy to read, with a non-technical style that makes sense and does not put one to sleep.

For those who are thinking of a legislative campaign, for those who are actively involved in one, for all officers of organizations who are considering any legislative activity, this book would be a very useful addition to your library. For those in the throes of an active campaign, or about to embark on one, this is an essential book for all but the most skilled of lobbyists.

    Chapter Headings:

  • Chapter 1: What is Lobbying?
  • Chapter 2: Assessing Your Chances of Legislative Success
  • Chapter 3: Developing the Lobbying Campaign
  • Chapter 4: Hiring and Working with Contract Lobbyists
  • Chapter 5: Negotiation
  • Chapter 6: Legislative Procedure
  • Chapter 7: Lobbying Visits
  • Chapter 8: Working with Legislative Committees
  • Chapter 9: Activities Now and Post-Session
  • Glossary
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Last updated: October 2, 2001