Richard Hall, The Detroit News: The caricature of lobbying as legal bribery can be misguided, though, said Richard Hall, a political science professor at the University of Michigan. An overwhelming majority of lobbying is done with allies. "It's not a wink and a nod; here's a campaign check," Hall said. "That is really uncommon. You're going in and talking with people you don't need to bribe. They mostly have the same policy objectives you do."
Forums can be valuable, but they have their limits in contributing to change, U-M's Hall said: "Even if you can do more consensus building and convince a wider array of citizens or stakeholders to share your common view, that doesn't get you anywhere until you start talking to regulators or legislatures. It doesn't translate into policy."