The American League of Lobbyists is tired of being stereotyped. "Everybody has that misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash and that’s about it," says group head Monte Ward. In fact, these days, the group notes that lobbyists affect the political process in multiple ways, including grassroots organizing. So it's time for a name change for the organization, which stands up for "government relations professionals" and pushes for lobbyist ethics.
"The new brand will seek to fully represent the broad range of responsibilities that a government relations professional practices daily," says Ward. Pending a vote by members, the group could soon be called the Association of Government Relations Professionals, the Washington Post reports. Even just after the group was founded in 1979, there were some who were concerned with the name; now, thanks to people like Jack Abramoff, lobbyists' reputation has gotten worse, notes a former group president. Still, he doesn't support a name change, saying the group should "not be ashamed of being called a lobbying organization."