Posts Tagged ‘lobbying disclosure’
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 by Brittany
Effective January 1, 2008, the LD-1 lobbying registrations for new clients of lobbying firms must disclose the prior government service of each individual lobbyist for 20 years preceding the filing of the registration. New individual lobbyists employed by an existing registrant will also need to disclose this information on the entity’s next quarterly LD-2 report. Employees of the organization registered as lobbyists prior to January 1, 2008 are governed by the two-year look-back only.
New employee lobbyists – or existing employees who trigger lobbying registration after January 1, 2008 – must report their prior government service for the twenty years preceding the reporting period in which they are newly registered as lobbyists.
Prior government service is defined as a “covered executive or legislative branch official.” For purposes of disclosing prior government employment, all registrants and filers must use the LDA definition of “covered executive or legislative branch official.”
Covered executive branch officials under the LDA are:
- The President
- The Vice President
- Officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President
- Any official serving in an Executive Level I-V position
- Any member of the uniformed services serving at grade 0-7 or above
- “Schedule C” Employees
Covered legislative branch officials are:
- a Member of Congress
- an elected officer of either the House or the Senate
- an employee, or any other individual functioning in the capacity of an employee who works for a Member, committee, leadership staff of either the Senate or House, a joint committee of Congress, a working group or caucus organized to provide services to Members, and
- any other legislative branch employee who, for at least 60 days, occupies a position for which the rate of basic pay is equal to or greater than 120 percent of the minimum rate of basic pay payable for GS-15 of the General Schedule
For more information or to purchase the Lobbying Compliance Handbook click here.
Tags: government employment, LDA, lobbying disclosure, lobbying registration
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Ghosts of Lobbyists Past Prior Government Experience
Thursday, May 19th, 2011 by Vbhotla
There has been sharp concern voiced over provisions a new executive order which proposes all government contractors should disclose their political contributions. If enacted, the order would require officers and directors and subsidiaries and affiliates of a company bidding for government contracts to submit a report detailing any contributions made directly to candidates or third party independent expenditure groups using the funds for electioneering activities.
These new provisions have been likened to “pay-to-play” laws on the state level, though the Executive Order, unlike state laws, would not limit the number of contributions. Included would be a two year look-back, with donations for two years prior to the bid also subject to disclosure, which would be required if $5,000 or more was spent on political activities.
Critics say that the order would foster partisanship in contracting practices, damper First Amendment rights to participate in the political process, and add a tremendous burden on contractors.
It is important to note that the Executive Order would not require disclosure of contributions made by the spouses or children of the directors or officers whose own contributions would trigger reporting, nor would it include senior executives or other staff to report giving
Tags: DISCLOSE Act, Executive Order, LDA, lobbying disclosure
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on ALERT: Executive Order Could Increase Disclosure Requirements
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 by Vbhotla
Legislative Search and Detailed Lobbying Financials Added to Washington Representatives Online
Lobbyists.info is pleased to announce a major expansion to its Washington Representatives Online database of federal lobbying contacts. In particular, two major enhancements have taken place this week: the addition of bill data and detailed breakouts of how much money is being paid and received for lobbying services as they relate to specific firm/client relationships.
Joel Poznansky, President of Columbia Books & Information Services, Lobbyists.info’s parent company, remarked, “For over 40 years the print edition of Washington Representatives has served as the Bible of the legislative and political community. Just a few years ago, the addition of detailed bill data and lobbying financials would not have been possible. Now, as we expand beyond the realm of print, we are incredibly pleased to offer this wealth of information to the lobbying community online.”
BILL SEARCH & LEGISLATIVE RELATIONSHIP LINKS UNCOVERED: Now, detailed information on specific pieces of legislation has been added, allowing users to identify the exact bills that a lobbyist is working on and what other organizations and individuals are tied to the same legislation. An easy bill search has also been added allowing you to quickly look up bills by name or number. This revolutionary addition opens an entirely new avenue for tracking legislative influence.
FOLLOW THE MONEY: Users can now identify money spent to lobby on specific legislative issues and income and spending breakdowns by firm/client relationship.
This all-in-one tool provides endless new opportunities for lobbyists and government relations professionals. Users can track their competition to see who they are working with, how much they are being paid and what specific bills they are working on. Additionally, like-minded advocates can now quickly and easily identify potential coalition partners.
Lobbyists.info is the number one resource for information on government relations and lobbying relationships. In addition to the complete federal lobbying and congressional databases it also houses the Lobbying Ethics & Compliance Center, which provides information on the latest rules and regulations on lobbying ethics and procedure.
For more information or to preview this all-in-one lobbying tool visit www.lobbyists.info.
Tags: bill searching, lobbying alerts, lobbying disclosure, lobbying spending, lobbyists.info, track lobbying spending, Washington Representatives
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Alert: Lobbyists.info has new spring enhancements!
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 by Vbhotla
There has been lots of talk recently about lobbyists’ campaign contributions to state-level candidates. For example, the backlash one Tennessee lobbyist received after donating to a gubernatorial candidate’s campaign and the interest in the amount of money donated by PACs to Alabama governor-hopefuls. Rules on contributions by lobbyists to these campaigns vary from state to state.
The good news is, thanks to guidelines on LD-203 disclosure released June 2009 by the House Office of the Clerk and Secretary of the Senate, these state and local-level campaign contributions do not trigger disclosure on a lobbyist’s LD-203 form. Because these candidates do not register campaign donations with the FEC, any amount a lobbyist contributes to said campaigns is exempt from LD-203 disclosure.
Other exceptions to LD-203 reporting requirements include:
- Donations to an entity on which a covered legislative or executive branch official serves as an honorary board member with no vote in board affairs,
- Contributions to a charity established by a covered official prior to his/her term in the covered office,
- Contributions to a charity to which a covered official makes only “de minimus” donations, and
- Costs related to sponsorship of a multi-candidate debate.
Though campaign contributions by lobbyists can be virtually unregulated in some states like Texas, it is still advised that lobbyists tread lightly when working on behalf of candidates at the state and local levels. Candidates are increasingly under fire for accepting special interest money, making them reluctant to be associated with government relations personnel.
“Nobody wants the Brooks Brothers Brigade out there campaigning for you,” Democratic lobbyist John Michael Gonzalez told a Roll Call staffer.
Today’s ethics tip is condensed from the Lobbying Compliance Handbook. New 2010 edition out this month!
Tags: campaign contributions, Ethics, exceptions, LD-203, lobbying disclosure, state lobbying
Posted in Ethics Tip | Comments Off on Tuesday Ethics Tip: Election Day Edition
Monday, September 13th, 2010 by Vbhotla
Transparency advocates can celebrate September 14 this week because of The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. The lobbying disclosure amendment – a major piece of legislation amending the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 – was signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 14, 2007.
The legislation was the result of a top Democratic priority in the 11oth Congress – “clearing the swamp” after multiple Congressional ethics scandals. Newly appointed Speaker Pelosi, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, sought to take advantage of the public discontent to add an additional layer of scrutiny – as well as criminal sanctions – to the ethics rules already in place in Congress.
The bill, which was S.1, introduced by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), passed in the Senate quickly, in January 2007, and then a companion bill, introduced in the House by Rep. John Conyers, (which originated as H.R. 2316) languished in the House until July 2007. Differences were resolved over the course of three days, and the bill was sent to the White House in early September.
A 2007 article from the Washington Post highlights several objections that then-Pres. Bush had at the time that he signed the bill, including a belief that the legislation was not tough enough on earmarks:
“Bush had complained that the earmark disclosure requirements are too loose, and hinted in early August that he might veto the bill. In a statement Friday, he said the bill has important elements but must be followed by measures to crack down further on earmarks.”
The Washington Post story is here: “Bush Signs Lobby-Ethics Bill.” Read the full text of the public law here, on the GPO site, and read the House and Senate versions here: House and Senate.
Tags: HLOGA, lobbying disclosure
Posted in Government Relations Alert | Comments Off on Happy Third Anniversary, HLOGA!
Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 by Vbhotla
In a recent press release, Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio) explained the purpose of her Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act, saying,
“When Americans on Main Street try to cheat or break the law; there are repercussions… [this bill] will go after the lobbyists who engage in shoddy practices and hide behind ignorance of the law.”
(View the release here).
However, what Kilroy is trying to fix is not as much a lobbying problem as it is a federal government problem. Lobby disclosure may not be the most popular rule on K Street but it is still the law of the land and the vast majority of lobbyists willingly adhere to it. The only reason that lobbyists continue to hide behind “ignorance” of the law is because the Department of Justice has neglected its side of the bargain.
The idea behind Kilroy’s bill is nothing new; in fact some lobbyists have spoken out in favor of greater disclosure, saying that having a system of lobbying laws but no enforcement makes a mockery of the entire system. Following the law is the responsibility of each individual lobbyist. Enforcing the law is solely the responsibility of the Department of Justice. In short, Kilroy should be requiring the Department of Justice to change its “shoddy practices,” not lobbyists. But lobbyists are low-hanging fruit, since many citizens don’t understand the First Amendment political speech right of having a government relations representative.
Kilroy’s bill as originally introduced intended to place more impetus on the lobbyists themselves to ensure complete lobby filings, with fee structures and fines for underdisclosure.
Americans don’t speed down Main Street when a cop is sitting in the McDonald’s parking lot and lobbyists won’t be ignorant of the law if the federal government enforces its own regulations.
Tags: filing, lobbying disclosure, Mary Jo Kilroy
Posted in From the Eyes of the Editors | Comments Off on Lobbying Disclosure: Kilroy Plays the Blame Game