One of the most powerful men in the history of California politics, Jesse Unruh, who was Speaker of the State Assembly for a decade, and then State Treasurer for another decade, is famous for speaking these words: "Money is the mother's milk of politics."
It is lobbyists and groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) who bring legislation that they have written to their bought-and-paid-for government reps who only have to sign on. Check in pocket, they introduce and vote for whatever the interest groups want.
A prime example is the healthcare industry. Health-related lobbyist groups (Health care professionals, big pharma, etc.) gave Congress alone over $70 M in 2010, and already this year, six months before the election, over $35 M. A few months ago, Forbes published a list of the 10 most profitable privately-held business categories in the US. Well, guess what? Four of the top eight were medical - Dentists, Physicians, Outpatient Care Centers, and non-MD professionals (Chiropractors, Optometrists, etc.)
As discussed in detail here
, media lobbying groups were the biggest contributors to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) who introduced the SOPA bill last year. Just as with state legislators who have no concept of affiliate marketing, Smith had no concept of how the internet works, introduced the bill because his pay-as-you-go financiers told him to, and only withdrew his bill, not just because of the public outcry, but because he learned that the horrendous bill if law would have shut down his own website.
Can affiliate marketers compete with the money being given legislators across the country by giant corporations through their lobbyist groups? Doubtful. Will legislators listen to affiliate marketers when we try to explain the issues to them? Well, my experience is that they politely listen for up to two minutes, but they do not hear us. They sometimes ask for documentation, which when provided, is never responded to. During the time of last year's fight over the tax bill in California, I spoke to and at their request provided documentation to two state assemblypersons, one state senator, and two Congresspersons - not one responded. Note, no money was attached to any of my submissions.