Sometimes lobbying's less about convincing Congress of your client's case than about getting two minutes of its time. Coca Cola recently hired the Dewey Square Group to goad Congress into patching a few words in the 2005 $1 Coin Act, which requires vending machines on federal property and in federally-funded facilities to accept dollar coins. Coke's concern? The act's language was drafted to require the machines to dispense the coins. Since almost no snack and soda vending machines accept denominations larger than $1, it's inconceivable that a customer would ever need change in an amount equal to or greater than that.
But logically flawed or no, as of 2008, the Act will require Coke machines across the country to stock $1 coins in its change box, where they would be entombed forever more.
The coins "are only going to be taking space in these machines," says Stephanie Markiewicz, the Dewey Square lobbyist who is handling the matter for Coke. "And it accomplishes no federal policy purpose."
All that's necessary to fix the matter would be adding a few words limiting the dollar coin dispensation requirement to machines that take $5's $10's, and $20's. So why hire a lobbyist for such a simple wording change?
Well, take a look at the calendar. Markiewicz's job is to squeeze the matter in before the end of the session. And even without any opposition to the wording switch itself, that might be the sort of task that requires a bit of a fight.