Posts Tagged ‘lobbyists.info’
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 by Matthew Barnes
Join Lobbyists.info and speaker Peter LaMotte on December 17, 2014 2:00-3:30 pm ET for a webinar on “Is Your Website Advocating for You: Tactics to Maximize Your Legislative Impact on the Web.” This webinar provides a fantastic crash course for mastering web tactics that can fundamentally transform your existing online presence.
Peter LaMotte is Senior Vice President & Chair, Digital Communications Practice at LEVICK. He leads the award-winning digital team, bringing the richest, most diverse digital talent and resources to bear on behalf of firm clients worldwide. A proven digital marketing and strategy leader, Mr. LaMotte is well-known for his ability to help clients drive adoption, change and understanding through unique combinations of digital strategies and channels. His client experience includes success with dozens of diverse brands including AARP, NEA, Sony, Kraft, Colgate Palmolive, Yahoo!, and Audio-Technica.
Tags: lobbyists.info, Peter LaMotte, Webinar
Posted in Lobbying tips, Training & Events | Comments Off on Is Your Website Advocating for You?
Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Linnae O'Flahavan
IN A VOX ARTICLE LAST WEEK, researcher and online cialis reporter Andrew Prokop writes about a new research study done by Tim LaPira, a political scientist at James Madison University, which used the Lobbyists.info database to calculate the true lobbying economy, including a massive number of unregistered lobbyists. LaPira’s research found that less than half of federal lobbyists were legally registered to lobby, suggesting that the $3.3 billion officially spent on lobbying in 2012 was likely much closer to $7 billion.
LaPira and his team pulled out a random sample of people with federal lobbying-related jobs from the full Lobbyists.info catalog, and worked to recreate those people’s resumes using Google.
Once it was determined which of those people were engaged in federal public policy, LaPira calculated the percentage of those who were registered to lobby, which turned out to be a bit less than half of those in the sample. LaPira’s research confirms what many already suspected – that there is a massive underground “shadow lobbying” force at work.
This shadow lobbying force may exist for a variety of reasons.
The Center for Responsive Politics counts the number of lobbying disclosure forms filled out, but as LaPira argues in a post for the Sunlight Foundation, the LDA’s definition of a lobbyist is too narrow, and federal lobbyists are able to act as “strategic policy consultants” or “historical advisers” without ever having to register. Not to mention, a number of other factors may be cause for the current underground lobbying trend, including the Obama administration’s efforts to slow down the “revolving door,” new innovations regarding public relations strategies, digital advertising, the defeat of SOPA in 2012, and advances in social media.
Kate Ackley, in an article for Roll Call, suggests that one major cause for the decline in registered lobbyists is the lack of enforcement of lobbying laws. It’s true that Lobbying Disclosure Act violations are rarely prosecuted, although recently the Office of Congressional Ethics referred one case to the District of Columbia’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for failing to register. It’s possible that this signals a new era of harsher penalties and more frequent prosecutions, although it could remain in isolated incident. Understanding the reasons behind shadow lobbying and the de-registration of many federal lobbyists is difficult and complicated, but nevertheless the numbers show a trending increase in unregistered lobbying.
LaPira’s study produced well-researched quantifiable results confirming that despite a decline in the number of registered federal lobbyists, the lobbying economy is booming. While the results are not surprising, they are extremely helpful in better understanding the underground world of shadow lobbying. LaPira’s subsequent paper, co-authored by Herschel Thomas, describes his research methodology and results in even better detail. Here at Lobbyblog we are pleased to see the Lobbyists.info database put to such good use!
Tags: lobbyists.info, shadow lobbying, Tim LaPira, underground lobbying
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on The Lobbying Economy's Shadow
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Vbhotla
THOSE WHO CANNOT REMEMBER the past…cannot lobby effectively. That’s why Lobbyists.info recently unveiled its latest feature: historical links between staffers, federal lobbyists, and members of Congress going back to 1987. Since lobbyists’ connections to lawmakers can matter just as much as their skills and experience, this is a crucial resource.
Why are these historical links so valuable? For one, lawmakers are staying on the Hill for longer than they used to. A report by the Federation of American Scientists found that the average years of service for members of the 113th Congress is 9.1 for the House and 10.2 for the Senate. If you want to lobby on a piece of legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and a lobbyist you’re thinking of hiring was a staffer for Henry Waxman in 1993, then that historical link may play a crucial role in picking the right advocate.
With the revolving door between staffers and lobbyists spinning at cyclone speed, the links between former staffers and Congress have become vital to understanding the influence game. It’s increasingly clear that understanding these historical links can give advocates a leg up on the competition.
Tags: Henry Waxman, lobbyists.info, the Federation of American Scientists
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on History Matters
Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by Geoffrey Lyons
IN TUESDAY’S New York Times, opinion writer Thomas Edsall wrote about the changing face of lobbying since the passage of HLOGA, echoing many themes that have recently appeared on this blog. On earmarks, for example, Edsall wrote that “…the lobbying firm Cassidy and Associates has paid a heavy price for the earmark ban.” LobbyBlog had previously asserted that “for Cassidy and others, losing earmarks was like losing the ground on which they stood.” Edsall also cited a recent study that used Lobbyists.info data: “Using LaPira’s reasoning, total spending to influence legislative and regulatory outcomes in 2012 doubled from $3.1 billion to $6.7 billion.” LobbyBlog had, of course, cited the same study: “The current figure, which only accounts for legally disclosed spending, is $3.31 billion. LaPira estimates that over twice that – an eye-watering $6.7 billion – was actually spent last year.” (For the record, $3.31 (not $3.1) billion is the correct figure).
If these excerpts are indications that Edsall is a fan of this blog, then your humble bloggers are pleased. If, more likely, they merely highlight the general consensus among the few of us who write about lobbying that certain undeniable trends are reshaping the business, then your humble bloggers are no less pleased. This is mostly because Edsall casts refreshing new light on the phenomenon of de-registration to supplement the old arguments about lobbying drifting into the shadows, or the inaccuracy of disclosure numbers (Edsall: “If you look at the numbers, it may seem that lobbying is in decline, but it isn’t; it’s just taking different forms.” LobbyBlog: “A decline in reported lobbying is not always synonymous with a decline in lobbying.”)
For example, most commentaries on de-registration or the “driving underground” of a formerly functioning disclosure framework don’t even attempt to explain what these newly underground lobbyists are doing with themselves. Edsall’s, on the other hand, focuses entirely upon this point. “The action has shifted,” he writes, “to what is known in the business as strategic advice: how to convince and mobilize voters and opinion elites in support of a client’s agenda.” This description demands greater clarity, which Edsall is quick to supply:
So what does this new strategic adviser actually do? He or she can plan out a legislative campaign or a drive to affect the implementation of regulation, determine which officials and agencies must be dealt with, and propose potential coalition partners….Interestingly, all this can be done without making direct contact with elected officials, congressional aides or top-ranked department and agency appointees and employees. This arms-length approach permits strategic advisers to avoid lobbying registration and reporting requirements.
Something is striking about the idea that “…all this can be done without making direct contact with elected officials….” If this is so, are we still talking about lobbying? The case can be made here that if the “unlobbyist” is refraining from the fundamental activities that define lobbying, then maybe lobbyists aren’t being driven underground but rather driven out. Even if Edsall doesn’t make direct appeal to this point, he at least provokes one to explore it, and to explore lobbying’s future, rather than dwell on its present. The future of lobbying: that, alas, is for another blog post. Or, if he gets to it first, another article by Thomas Edsall.
Tags: cassidy and associates, HLOGA, LaPira, LobbyBlog, lobbyists.info, thomas edsall
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Lobbyists as “Strategic Advisers”
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 by Geoffrey Lyons
IT’S WELL KNOWN within the beltway (and probably suspected from outside it) that most lobbying activity is off the record, hidden from the public eye. When the GAO finds in its annual audit of lobbying disclosure reports that, for instance, 97 percent of lobbyists reported their income and expenses in 2012, the few of us who read such banal compositions have to chuckle, as if to say “yeah, 97 percent of registered lobbyists.”
It’s a plain fact that the so-called “influence industry” isn’t only comprised of registered lobbyists, and that recorded expenditures only make up a portion of what lobbyists are actually spending. The rest of this money remains “dark,” “underground,” or whichever nefarious adjective fits the occasion. But has anyone ever wondered how much is actually hidden?
Political Science Professor Tim LaPira has. In his latest blog post for the Sunlight Foundation, LaPira takes Lobbyists.info data to estimate total lobbying expenditures in 2012. The current figure, which only accounts for legally disclosed spending, is $3.31 billion. LaPira estimates that over twice that – an eye-watering $6.7 billion – was actually spent last year.
The magnitude of $6.7 billion is generously put into context:
Let’s put that number in perspective: For every one member of Congress, the influence industry produces about $12.5 million in lobbying. By comparison, the average 2012 budget for member [sic.] of the House of Representative’s office was only $1.3 million. So, in 2012—a presidential election year, in a down economy, during arguably the least productive Congress ever—“government relaters” accounted for more than nine times the typical House member’s official operating expenses.
Whether LaPira’s findings are accurate is unknowable. His calculations rely on the unfalsifiable assumption that lobbyists operating outside of the disclosure framework – “stealth” lobbyists, as he calls them – are spending just as much as their compliant peers. Still, if LaPira’s estimate were off by as much as $2 billion, there remain billions that are being spent unaccountably and with insouciance for the law. That’s concerning.
Tags: GAO, lobbyists.info, sunlight foundation, Tim LaPira
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Lobbyists.info Data Reveal $3.6 Billion in Undisclosed Expenditures
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 by Geoffrey Lyons
YESTERDAY’S POLITICAL INFLUENCE newsletter, published daily by POLITICO, featured the Association TRENDS Fly-in/Legislative Day Yearly (F.L.Y.) Guide, a ranking of D.C.’s most popular fly-in hotels. Association TRENDS – which, like Lobbyists.info, is a division of Columbia Books – publishes the guide every year in its monthly, and discusses the results at an annual breakfast on fly-ins.
The value of ranking D.C. hotels rests on the premise that selecting the best available venue is the most important decision a planner can make when coordinating a fly-in. As a matter of definition, you hgh height growth can’t have a fly-in without a hotel, so one must choose wisely. This year’s all-around winner was Hyatt Regency, earning best overall, best meeting rooms, best logistics, and most knowledgeable of fly-in protocol (there’s a low bar here: most hotel staff don’t have a clue what ‘fly-in’ even means). If location were its own category, the Regency would tie with The Liaison Capitol Hill, both of which are mere steps from the Capitol.
The full results, which were very graciously uploaded by POLITICO, can be viewed here.
Tags: Association TRENDS, columbia books, F.L.Y. Guide, Hyatt Regency, Liaison Capitol, lobbyists.info, politico
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Hyatt Regency Ranked Best Hotel for Fly-ins
Monday, July 8th, 2013 by Geoffrey Lyons
TODAY MARKS THE end of Congress’s last break until August recess. That means there’s only four weeks left to pass legislation, a fact duly noted and keenly felt by Congressional members and their staff, the President and his staff, and, of course, lobbyists. This last group has the most sweat to wipe from its brow for reasons other than DC’s unrelenting heat. For while Congressional staff will look forward to casual dress and a light August workload, lobbyists can expect diminished receipts. Although this year’s home stretch will be markedly less hectic than last year’s, there’s still a quickness in K St’s pace that betrays a sense of urgency.
Yet it doesn’t have to be that way. August can in fact keep business rolling for lobbyists if they know where to turn. One option is regulatory lobbying. Agencies don’t go on recess, and they have plenty of work to do in the months and years ahead. (See Lobbyists.info’s upcoming crash course on agency lobbying, “Understanding the Regulatory Landscape: Rule-making Basics for Agency Lobbying.”)
Site visits and town halls are another option. The logic here is that if policymakers are leaving town, follow them. (See Stephanie Vance’s .”)
Site visits and town halls are another option. The logic here is that if policymakers are leaving town, follow them. (See Stephanie Vance’s how to develop a district-based advocacy program).
Some have argued that August is not only more important than conventional wisdom allows, but that it’s in fact the most critical month of the year. Capstrat, a communications firm in Raleigh, N.C., is particularly vocal on this point. Account Supervisor Mike Kondratick claims that August recess is a “championship game” that determines “the difference between organizations that win their issues and those that don’t.” When Congress is in session
…every group is using the same set of communications tactics to move member offices on their issues….[T]he August recess not only creates a month-long window for more highly personalized communications, but it shifts that office’s view of every one of your communications from that point forward. That ability to stand out from the rest of the issue-pedaling masses is something that all of the money spent post-Labor Day simply won’t be able to buy.
In this sense, August is a time to develop visibility. In Kondratick’s words, it’s a time to “stand out, not check out.” Perhaps as the doors of Congress close, others will open for lobbyists. Whether they take advantage of this, however, is completely up to them.
Tags: Capstrat, lobbyists.info, Mike Kondratick, stephanie vance
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Standing Out in August
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!