Here Are the 6 Most Niche Lobbying Groups in America

Looking out for America’s snake owners, horse lovers, and prune growers in Washington, DC.


Lobby groups spent more than $3.2 billion trying to sway federal lawmakers and officials last year. Yet like Washington’s solitary UFO lobbyist and fake-meat lobbyist, some would-be influencers are pushing some pretty specific, even obscure, agendas. Here are six of America’s most specialized influence groups:
 

The Balloon Council: “To educate consumers and regulators about the wonders of foil and latex balloons,” it spent $80,000 on lobbying in 2014—not adjusted for inflation, of course.

 

 

Families Conserving Antiques: Three families who own collections of elephant ivory formed this organization in 2014 to lobby against federal bans on the tusk trade.

 

 

US Association of Reptile Keepers: This group of “herp” lovers fighting prohibitions on certain types of pythons has been lying quietly lately—like a snake waiting to strike.

 

 

Dollar Coin Alliance: Switching from greenbacks to coins will save America billions of bucks, according to this group backed by vending-machine and copper-mining companies.

 

 

Victoria McCullough: This oil heiress and equine philanthropist has spent $135,000 spurring lawmakers to keep American horses off foreign dinner plates.

 

 

California Dried Plum Board: Don’t you mean “prune”? Yes—but in 2000, the then-California Prune Board successfully lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to let it use the more female-friendly (really, that’s what it said) “dried plum.”

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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