Lobbying has a prominent and positive place in our laws and our history. It is protected by the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress and by similar provisions in numerous state constitutions. Lobbyists and the groups they represent often bring useful information to policymakers and facilitate public participation in, and knowledge about, government decision making. Indeed, under the consensus definition of lobbying-any attempt to influence the actions of government-the most successful "lobbyists" include American heroes such as Patrick Henry, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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