There are different types of lobbyists. The biggest distinction is probably between those who are paid and those who are unpaid. Unpaid lobbyists are basically people who are interested in a particular bill or issue and who feel like they want to voice their opinion to the legislature. Paid lobbyists can be divided into two main categories as well: those who work for a specific association, company or cause and those who represent multiple clients. Association/Corporate lobbyists are those who focus almost exclusively on one issue or company. Multi-client lobbyists are lobbyists for hire. They are free-agents. Sometimes they are called hired-guns. Whatever you want to call them, these are the one's who usually draw the largest reaction from people, but since I am a hired-gun now, I wanted to make the case why we serve a valuable purpose.
Hired gun lobbyists are contracted due to their knowledge on an issue or their relationships. I don't view hired guns as bad for the legislative process. As indicated in an earlier posting, a lobbyist must retain credibility & integrity. A group can hire a lobbyist and the lobbyist could probably lie, cheat and steal their way to getting a bill passed, and while I've seen it happen, there are usually some pretty severe professional consequences for this approach and generally speaking, a lobbyist taking this route may find it "challenging" to advocate future causes (and that's putting it lightly).
Being a lobbyist doesn't mean you don't care about the issues you are being paid to advocate. It's all about choices. I could choose to lobby for groups and causes I don't care about, but I've just decided that I will lobby only for those groups and issues I can believe in. Call me crazy, but I think I will be most effective if I agree with the position I'm advocating. Some lobbyists can lobby for anything and be just fine for doing so, but I can't. It's just a personal preference. Hopefully a group that hires me will find ourselves up against a lobbyist who is just being paid to represent a cause they don't believe in!