The word "lobbyist" has become so tainted in the public eye that the American League of Lobbyists decided last month to change its name to the Association of Government Relations Professionals.
Sorry, but that won't help.
There is nothing inherently wrong with lobbying. After all, at its core is the exercise of the First Amendment right to petition our government. From my vantage point, what has tarnished lobbying is not the act of lobbying itself but rather the modern-day marriage of lobbying and campaign fundraising. Lobbyists are seen as key brokers in the system of legalized extortion and bribery that we now have. They are seen this way because the lobbyists representing the biggest, most influential interest groups are indeed key brokers in this crooked system.