Thinking about where we are today on an issue I care about almost as much as any other, I offer a few things to consider when choosing a lobbyist for your legislation:
1) Don't choose a lobbyist whose career has been dedicated to a cause a vast majority of legislators hated.
2) Make sure your lobbyist does not believe that the legislature is like the real world in that people forgive mistakes and that good intentions count for something.
3) You might want to be cautious choosing a well known and powerful lobbyist whose bread and butter rests on relationships with members of leadership who are deadly opposed to your issue. If you think this lobbyist is going to draw the line and cut off negotiations or work around their friends, forget it.
4) Don't ever think that an unknown face is a bad thing. The friendly nature in us gets the best of us and we usually are intrigued by someone new. Let's just say this too: no history, no baggage.
5) Consider it imporatant that your lobbyist sees communication and respect as the most important responsibility they have.
6) And finally, you might consider seeing what reaction your lobbyist has to any likely legislative allies you already have on the issue. While they might be the smoothest talker in town, will they really be willing to work with everyone or will they anger those who care about the cause so that nothing gets done.