In the heat of a campaign season, it's easy to portray the lobbying community as the black hat. While it's important to be alert to the role of influence, this is also a good time to be reminded that effective governing is a far cry from sensational campaigning. ... Effective policy makers know how to tap vital resources to ensure that the consequences of their decisions have a positive impact on our nation. ...Professional advocates, with a keen understanding of how government works, expertise about the issues on the table, and a record of integrity that creates trust in relationships, provide an essential service. They represent people's interests through education, sound data, and the mobilization of stakeholders so that policy makers can make informed decisions.
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