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Buying Votes The Legislative branch of the United States government was designed to represent citizens of this nation Congressional members are representing the people in their district or state Laws are supposed to be passed in the publics best interest People attempt to influence the passing of laws through lobbyists These people are paid to offer campaign donations and gifts to certain congressmen in return for a vote for or against specific issues Lobbyist activity in Washington DC breeds corruption and inhibits the democratic process Interest groups were created to gain support for certain issues Farmers laborers gun control activists abortion opponents and teachers are just a few of the numerous interest groups in the United States Any person is eligible to join these voluntary private groups which sometimes require a donation of money Formed from these interest groups are Political Action Committees PACs A few top people run these groups The main purpose of the PACs is to raise money The money raised is passed on to Congressmen via a lobbyist The term lobbyist was initially used several centuries ago in Great Britain in reference to journalists who waited in the lobbies of the House of Commons to interview legislators Volkomer 114 Today the lobbyists job is to pass the money to representatives for a vote in their favor of a bill Up to 5000 may be given to any one congressman by a PAC The most obvious downfall of this setup is that representatives would be encouraged to vote for money In other words if a pro-life group paid a representative to vote against legalizing abortion the money would sway him Whether or not a bill is passed becomes an issue of who is willing and able to pay more for it Congressmen would look to vote for bills that would get them the most money from the PACs Figuring the maximum
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