New Lobbying Disclosure Rule Upheld


I don’t want to let this slip by.

The Hill reported on a U.S. District Court decision made on Friday that upheld a key provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA). In February, the National Association of Manufacturers had filed suit challenging HLOGA’s disclosure provision requiring any organization actively participating "in the planning, supervision, or control" of lobbying efforts that ponies up more than $5,000 in a quarter to disclose their activities and expenditures. NAM argued that the disclosure clause is imprecise and impacts groups that it is not intended to target, and that it violates the First Amendment. They also said that they were worried that the law would also require it to disclose the names of its members.

In a 57-page opinion, Judge Kollar-Kotelly disagreed, saying the clause was "narrowly tailored to serve compelling government interests, and is neither vague on its face nor is applied to the NAM." You can read the judge’s opinion by following a link provided by the Campaign Legal Center. The court decision clears the way for the new law to force disclosure of such coalitions’ members to the public for the first time on April 21, according to The Hill.

The purpose of this section of the law is to shine a light on stealth lobbying and sham coalitions, pushing legislation such as those that are often promoted by groups like NAM.