When 'grass-roots' campaigns are the product of lobbyists, members of Congress should know about it. A MEMBER OF Congress will sit up and pay attention when told that 1,000 — or even 100 — constituents have written or e-mailed about a particular piece of legislation. Paying attention to grass-roots opinion is part of a politician's DNA.
But what if the voice of the people is really only an echo of a sophisticated pitch by professional lobbyists? In that not-uncommon situation, "grass-roots" lobbying of Congress has been dubbed the political equivalent of AstroTurf, the artificial grass first installed in the Houston Astrodome in 1966.
Los Angeles Times