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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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