Better Online Lobbyist Disclosure — update


Last night, I came across an enhanced site for looking up lobbying records posted online by the Senate Office of Public Records. To give an idea of how much better it is, I can tell you that with one search that 22 organizations–including top political donors Citigroup, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, Exxon Mobil and PricewaterhouseCoopers, explicitly mention S. 681, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act. (Perhaps it should be expected that the Swiss Bankers Association also has an interest in the legislation, although one thing I learned some years back when I was researching taxes is that Switzerland is no longer favored by the international tax avoiding, let alone evading, crowd.)

Some notes on the search engine — when searching for multiple terms, like S. 681 or Comprehensive Immigration Reform, use quotes around the terms — otherwise, it will return every document with an “S.” and every document with a “681.” One drawback–it seems that there’s no way to link the lobbying forms themselves (they pop up in a new window without any visible URL in both Firefox and Safari–maybe Explorer will have better luck).

In any case, I stumbled across the enhanced site by chance last night when I went to, the regular Senate Web site for looking up lobbying records. If you click on that link, you go back to the regular Senate page. As of this writing, this link still gets you to the enhanced data, but I’m wondering whether I just bumped into an alpha or beta test by chance. I’ll call Senate Office of Public Records tomorrow to find out…