Government Relations Resources

Professional Networking & Societies

American Society of Association Executives: ASAE focuses on every aspect of managing, staffing, and working in associations, but has resources dedicated to government relations. ASAE’s Legislative Action Center provides information on elected officials and distributes news on legislation that impacts associations. Members can also subscribe to a bi-monthly e-newsletter on government relations.

Bryce Harlow Foundation: Promotes high standards in lobbying. Provides fellowships to students who aspire to be involved in the political process through the lobbying and government relations fields. Also hosts seminars and workshops that incorporate the knowledge and experiences of lobbyists in Washington.

Government Affairs Industry Network (GAIN): GAIN’s mission is to provide the government affairs community with an inclusive network where professionals across all sectors and at all levels can connect and develop their careers.

Public Affairs Council:Corporate public affairs officers involved in communications, government relations at the federal and state level, and community relations. PAC offers various resources for members, including publications, conferences, and networking opportunities.

Washington Network Group: Members are involved in many different fields, ranging from finance to international relations. A section for government relations professionals is called the Government Roundtable, and the group sponsors networking events and professional development programs.

Women in Government Relations:Women involved in government relations at all levels of government and in different capacities, including from trade associations and law firms. WGR offers networking events and a mentor program to help newer members in their professional development.

LinkedIn Groups

Research and Advocacy Organizations

Center for Competitive Politics: CCP focuses on campaign finance law research. CCP publishes information related to political action committees and 527 groups, news in the Federal Election Committee, and interprets the impact laws have on state elections.

Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest: CLPI is an organization dedicated specifically to nonprofit lobbying and advocacy. Its web site includes various how-to guides on topics ranging from writing letters to building coalitions.

Center for Public Integrity: CPI produces investigative journalism. Some of the current projects of CPI include investigations of the pharmaceutical lobby, the role of military contractors in Iraq, and federal advisory committees.

Center for Responsive Politics:Publishes the website OpenSecrets, containing information on the role of money in the political process. CRP includes information in databases on political action committees, campaign fundraising and lobbying.

Congressional Management Foundation: CMF seeks to improve the effectiveness of Congress. Although much of its research is geared to Congressional members and staff, several of its publications are useful to lobbyists, especially those involving constituent advocacy.

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws: COGEL is a membership organization of ethics commissions, government agencies, and other groups interested in campaign finance, ethics laws, and lobbying laws. COGEL hosts an annual conference devoted to ethics law and also provides newsletters and education to its members. Provides training videos for visiting advocates.

National Conference of State Legislatures: Provides research on policy issues to state legislators and acts as an advocate on state issues at the federal level. Additionally, NCSL provides information on ethics and lobbying-related issues at the state level in publications and other resources.

OpenCongress:A project of the Participatory Politics Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation, OpenCongress seeks to make the legislative process more open and transparent. The site includes a blog, a list of the most recent congressional votes, and allows users to search for bills and congressional members with links to related news articles and blog entries.

Public Agenda: Provides information in the form of issue guides and research reports on various topics. The organization also provides a forum for grassroots lobbying with its public engagement site.

Legislative Resources

House Lobbying Disclosure – Office of the Clerk: The Office of the Clerk provides lobbyists with the tools and information to file their required LDA forms. There are also relevant links to published guidance, laws and news updates.

Senate Office of Public Records: The Senate’s public disclosure site includes links to the relevant laws and guidance. SOPR also provides databases for lobbyists’ filings, disclosures by members and staffers of travel expenses as well as a list of members and staffers who are affected by the post-employment restrictions enacted by HLOGA. There is also a link to the number of cases that the Secretary of the Senate referred to the Department of Justice.

Department of Justice – Foreign Agent Registration: Lobbyists who represent foreign political parties and government entities are required to register as foreign agents and file semiannual reports with the Department of Justice. DoJ provides information on how to file the paperwork as well as maintains a database of foreign agent lobbyist filings dating back to 1942.

Senate Ethics Committee:The Senate Ethics Committee provides forms and advice for members and for private organizations in order to comply with regulations. The site also publishes reports on its investigations of Senators and memos regarding training and clarifications of regulations.

House Ethics Committee:Provides forms and manuals for members and for private organizations in order to comply with regulations. There are also sets of guidelines and advisory papers which interpret laws and regulations.

Office of Congressional Ethics:Acts as an independent Congressional ethics watchdog with the power to investigate ethics breaches. May turn over findings to the public, the Department of Justice, or the House Ethics Committee.

Office of Government Ethics: The OGE focuses on ethics at the executive branch level, encompassing the Executive Office of the President and all of the federal agencies. The agency releases DAEOgrams to agencies on gifts, financial disclosures and the revolving door between the government and the private sector.

Federal Election Commission:Administers campaign finance laws and receives campaign finance reports filed by candidate committees, leadership PACs and other political action committees. Lobbying firms, corporations and trade associations that are involved in a PAC are required to file reports, which are available to search individually on the site.

THOMAS: The Library of Congress allows the public to search for bills in the House and Senate back to the 101st Congress. Researchers can also look for items in the Congressional Record. THOMAS is updated daily with the previous day’s activities in Congress. federal government site allows researchers and others interested in federal rules to search for proposed and final rules posted in the Federal Register. The site also includes public comments on rules and other agency guidance.

The IRS also provides information about compliance with its regulations regarding 501(c) organizations and 527 groups.