Course Overview
This course of instruction presents a survey of local, state, and federal lobbying from the corporate perspective.  Students will be exposed to the mechanics, economics, compliance/ethics landscape, and ways to measure performance when considering government affairs activities.  This course is designed to support students who are currently responsible for or seeking careers that include facets of government affairs, public affairs, or public relations.  Advocacy within and toward corporate entities will be covered as well.

1. Present an overview of government affairs and lobbying in the United States
2. Provide students with a historical template to understand government affairs activities today
3. Present information that will allow students to discern the effectiveness of government affairs activities
4. Provide an understanding of the government affairs market place
5. Present the tools and strategies used in government affairs activities
6. Provide exploration of how government affairs tools and strategies can be applied to communications and advocacy directed toward a corporation

The objective is to provide a non-technical yet detailed introduction to corporate government affairs thus allowing students completing this course to have greater understanding of the use and assessment of this tool to impact decision making.

The main readings of the course will be from Lobbying Reconsidered  by Gary Andres, Lines in the Sand by Steve Bickerstaff, and Texas Politics and Government by Gary Keith and Stefan Haag.  However, there will be articles, distributed during class meeting that will be referenced.  Additional copies of any articles distributed, in class, will be available upon request.

Final grades will be based upon three equally weighted factors: attendance, class participation, and a final exam.  Prior to 10/30/08, students will be informed as to their current grades in the areas of attendance and class participation.  There will be occasional problem sets handed out and discussed during class that will not be graded but should provide some guidance as to the questions on the exams.

Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  All students are expected to abide by the UTSA Honor Pledge given below.

“On my honor, as a student of The University of Texas at San Antonio, I will uphold the highest standards of academic integrity and personal accountability for the advancement of the dignity and the reputation of our university and myself.”

Lecture Topics/Course Outline and Readings

1. Political Landscape of Texas Today (Chapter 1 Keith and Haag)

How does someone become a lobbyist?
Types of Lobbyists
-Hired Gun
-In House
-Subject Matter Expert
Role of Media in lobbying
– Getting a story in the paper
– Paying for help
– Getting an editorial
– Selecting your outlet
– Using blogs

2. The glamour of D.C. (Chapter 1 Andres)

– Life in the District and life in the Congressional District
– Money Network
– Relationship Network
– Relationships and their regional implications
– Leveraging regional similarities

3. Historical Overview of Lobbying – 1980s to the Present  (Chapter 2 Andres) (Chapter 4 Keith and Haag)

– Lobbying is the second oldest profession
– Know the legislative process
– opportunities for success
– committee structure, chain of command, parliamentary procedures, etc. (Chapter 4 – Andres)
– Proliferation of Subcommittees
– Growth of Staff
-The dramatic change in lobbying and politics; action and counteraction were constant.
-Orthodox versus unorthodox law making
-Decay of the seniority system as the basis of power
-Austin 1985 and today
-Cooperative versus competitive environment: those that trash others versus building teams
– Which has more power, the politician or the lobbyist?

4. Mechanics of Lobbying (Chapter 3 Andres) (Chapter 5 Keith and Haag)

– Know your audience
– the importance of first impressions, their tendencies, turn-ons/offs.
-Partisanship and its impact
-Soft money versus hard money
-(Chapter 4 – Bickerstaff)  “Electing the Right Republicans”
-Independent Expenditures (Legal or Illegal Expenditures)
– Understanding Human Nature – reading nonverbal expressions and listening.
– Gathering information all of the time – keeping the pipeline following – posturing your on-going need
– Timing on sharing information
– Assuring information is valid
– Avoid promises
– Staying focused on the goal
– Advocacy by walking around

5. Economics of Lobbying (Chapter 4 Andres)

-Selecting the issue
-Selecting the team
-Determining a budget
-Setting a timeline
-Intelligence gathering versus advocacy

6. Ethics Issues / Compliance  (Chapter 15-19 – Bickerstaff)

– Developing credibility
– why would a staffer or elected official listen to you?  Years of experience, professional background, command of both sides of issue, etc.
-Legal implications of the 2003 redistricting and the criminal investigations and indictments that followed.
-Defense Strategy and Prosecution Strategy

7. Performance Measures for Lobbying  (Chapter 9 – Andres)

– The shortest distance for success is rarely a straight line.
– Confirming clients’ objectives
– Setting reasonable goals/expectations

8. Advocacy Structures and Tools  (Chapter 7 and 8 – Andres) (Chapter 8 Keith and Haag)

– Going alone is rarely successful
– The significance of coalition building.   Use multiple mediums to build your case.  Internet, polling, grassroots, interest groups, generate news, etc.
-The Landscape today
-When the lobby gets called on for help
– Tom DeLay (Chapter 15-19 – Bickerstaff)
– Handwritten notes to blogs

9. What to look for in a lobbyist? (Chapter 5 Andres)

– Marketing fear
– Marketing skill
– Pedigree
– Demographics
– The need for minority representation

10. Political party activity and lobbyist (Chapter 3 Keith and Haag)

-Texas landscape

11. Pride goes before a fall – lobby train wrecks (Chapter 6 Andres)

– The downside of forcing a political result.
– Jack
– Deaver
– Speaker Gib Lewis
– Lobbyist Gib Lewis
– Private wrecks each day
-Buying a place at the table
– The evolving use of aircraft for advocacy and political contributions
– Sponsoring events

12. Profile of a lobbyist

– Independent resources
– The look
– Prosperity
– Popularity
– Whirlpool of power
– Painting the picture

13. Staying in circulation

– How do you know how to spend your time?
– How lobbyists do it
– How firm’s do it
– Running the traps
– Current business service
– Future business
– Activity is all about future business

14. Advocacy and access to corporate structures

-Lobbying at the local level (Chapter 7 Keith and Haag)

**Final Exam: Thursday, December 11, 2008  5:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Classroom Responsibilities
Please be professional and considerate toward your professor and fellow students; your professor will always treat you in a professional manner.  If you must leave class early for reasons other than an emergency, please inform me before class.  Abide by the University’s academic policies, particularly those related to academic honesty.

University Academic Policies
Refer to the UTSA Graduate Catalog 2007-2009 and UTSA Information Guide 2007-2008 for relevant University academic policies.  Note the University policy related to scholastic dishonesty.  The University expects every student to maintain a high standard of individual integrity for work done.  Scholastic dishonesty is a serious offense which includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test or other class work, plagiarism (the appropriation of another’s work and the unauthorized incorporation of that work in one’s own work), and collusion (the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing college work offered for credit).  In cases of scholastic dishonesty, the faculty member responsible for the class may initiate disciplinary proceedings against the student.

University Support Services
The University provides various support services for students through the Office of Disability Services (  If arrangements for services are necessary, please contact the Office of Disability Services at the start of the semester.

Senior Lecturer
W. James Jonas III – B.A. (magna cum laude) with honors in Politics, Washington & Lee University; J.D. University of Texas School of Law.


  • Lobbying Reconsidered: Politics Under the Influence
    © 2009 | Prentice Hall | 07/08/2008
    ISBN-10: 0136032656 | ISBN-13: 9780136032656
  • Lines in the Sand
    Steve Bickerstaff
    © 2007 University of Texas Press
    ISBN 13978-0-292-71474-8
  • Texas Politics and Government: Continuity and Change
    Keith and Haag
    © 2008 | Longman | 02/19/2007
    ISBN-10: 0205551238 | ISBN-13: 9780205551231

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