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The members of the American League of Lobbyists have decided that they don’t want to be lobbyists anymore.

No, the nation’s largest lobbying group doesn’t plan to change its widely hated profession. But its members have voted to change their organization’s name: They are now the Association of Government Relations Professionals.

The Center for Public Integrity Reports:

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 shift to a less politically charged name does make sense from a public relations perspective; lobbyists have long been among the least popular actors in Washington. In fact, according to a Public Policy Polling survey from January, lobbyists pulled off the profoundly embarrassing feat of being 18 percent less popular than Congress.

The negative publicity may be having a negative effect on the bottom line of said “government relations professionals.” According to the Center for Responsive Politics, yearly lobbying spending is steadily declining from the 2010 high of $3.55 billion.

AFP Photo/Adek Berry

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