“The lobbyist” and “the lobby” are terms we often hear in political discourse and in the media.
I don't know how many times I have listened to, or been involved in, a conversation around a hot-button issue that has ended in something like: “Well, it all doesn't really matter because the lobbyists will just end up getting what they want anyways.”
This floating, nondescript spectre of “The Lobbyist” has served the lobby industry well, because the last thing a lobbyist wants is to have their name public. Better to remain an unknowable entity than, as Donald Rumsfeld put it, be a “known-known.”
But once you realize a lobbyist is just another person out there in the world trying to make a paycheck, the abstract idea of lobbying becomes more understandable and relatable.
It also becomes much more easy to keep in check.
Take for instance this lobbyist for TransCanada pipelines, Phil von Finckenstein of PVF Consulting.