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The Path to Maine Lawmaking - Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Teaching Guide and Activities

Person to Person: Legislating Maine

LESSON 4: ROLE OF A LOBBYIST

Learning Outcomes

At the end of Lesson 4 students will be able to

  • Identify ways in which citizens in a pluralistic society manage differences of opinion on public policy issues.
  • Assess the competing ideas about the purposes government should serve.
  • Explain the history and functions of Maine state government including the Constitution of Maine .
  • Describe and analyze the process by which a proposed law is adopted, including the role of governmental and non-governmental influcences.

Class Activity

  • Students will discuss essential elements of a legislative document (L.D.) in order to evaluate whether the writing team has included all of the right characteristics; the class will adopt final language for the L.D.
  • Students will work in their designated roles to prepare for the House and Senate debates in Lesson 5: sponsors, lobbyists, citizens, state agency personnel.
  • In their respective roles, students will discuss how they might use the media to influence the eventual vote on their “bill.”

Student Activities

  • Individually or in groups, list at least 3 of the activities that a lobbyist might do to influence the legislative process.
  • Individually or in groups, list what kinds of lobbying activities, if any, would influence you if you were a legislator.
  • If time allows, find names, addresses and clients for 5 lobbyists registered in Maine at Maine Campaign Finance . Invite one of the Maine lobbyists to your class to discuss what he or she does, what works and doesn't work with legislators, and how lobbyists fit into the legislative process.
  • Locate and bookmark Maine daily newspapers online using the following web addresses:

    Bangor Daily News  | Portland Press Herald   | Lewiston Sun Journal

Have any of these newspapers printed any recent news stories about your topic? If so, download and print the articles to share in class.

  • Scan a daily newspaper, watch TV news, listen to radio broadcasts, or read weekly news magazines to see if other media have printed or broadcast any recent stories relating to your “bill.” Record in your notebook what those sources are and be prepared to share your results with your classmates.

Materials

•  Computer with access to Internet and word processing capabilities

•  Folder/Notebook for “Path to Maine Lawmaking”

Assessment

  • Have students successfully listed 3 common lobbying activities?
  • Have students anticipated what kinds of lobbying activities would influence them if they were legislators?
  • Have students located relevant media reports on their topic?