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American League of Lobbyists changes name

Group votes to rebrand itself 'Association of Government Relations Professionals'

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The nation's largest lobbying industry group is ditching its lobbyist-centric name.

The American League of Lobbyists — known as such since its founding in 1979 — will now call itself the Association of Government Relations Professionals, organization officials confirm to the Center for Public Integrity. A formal announcement is expected Tuesday morning.

The change comes after 83 percent of the group's voting membership backed the new moniker during a vote conducted from Oct. 15 through Friday. It also considered calling itself the National Association of Government Relations Professionals and the Government Relations Professionals Association.

"ALL has always been a big tent organization, and I am excited that our new name will better reflect that reality," said Monte Ward, the group's president and president of Advanced Capitol Consulting.

Ward added that the rebranded group aims to foster "open and transparent debates in the formulation of public policy" and ensure "the highest ethical standards are practiced by all in the broader government relations profession."

The name change comes during a turbulent time for the regulated lobbying industry, which has endured high-profile scandals and been targeted by President Barack Obama.

Lobbyists have meanwhile witnessed an industry-wide decline in revenue after reported cashflow peaked at $3.55 billion in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Prior to changing its name, the American League of Lobbyists' board of directors determined that most of its members don't consider themselves to be only lobbyists. It mulled for months how the group might better include public relations, campaign finance and other political influence industry professionals and officially recommended the name change in October.

In recent years, the American League of Lobbyists, which only counts a fraction of the nation's more than 12,000 registered lobbyists among its paid members, has sponsored various workshops and training classes. It also routinely advocates the industry to government officials and the public.