In the last four years, the Internet has matured into a tool of considerable political influence. It has proved to be a powerful force for mobilizing support or opposition to proposed legislation. Political communication via the Internet is versatile and serves as a cost-effective tool. An advantage to using the Internet for lobbying purposes is that it is "self-selective." In other words, people will visit a Web site or sign up for a list serve because they have a vested interest in the issue (Coombs et. al., 1999).
Early on, Political activity on the Internet was dismissed as marginal be most political professionals. As long as bulletin boards and e-mail have existed, political speech has traveled over the Internet. However, these political discussions had little affect in terms of changing votes in the Capitol. Web pages were seen as interesting extras with no power to sway key votes in hard-fought campaigns. Internet-based lobbying is breaking into new horizons and developing more sophisticated strategies. And Capitol Hill is listening (Borland, 1998).