Progress report: Tracking lobbyist superdelegates


As of the March 15 primaries, the delegate count in the Democratic presidential primary stands at 1,119 for Hillary Clinton and 813 for Bernie Sanders. But Clinton also has 467 “superdelegates,” while Sanders has just 26. A few weeks ago, we asked you to help us track which Democratic superdelegates (a key part of the presidential nominating process on that side of the aisle) are also lobbyists. Using data provided to us by Vox, and building off of work by the Intercept which first reported on this, we created a spreadsheet detailing superdelegates’ lobbying work.

Some of the registered lobbyists we found on the list with your help:

We also found several superdelegates who aren’t officially registered as lobbyists, but work for lobbying firms or otherwise perform what most of us would think of as lobbying activities. We think it’s important to track this, too because it seems there’s a lot of unregistered (or “shadow”) lobbying activity that happens, and the public should know who else might be wielding influence beyond the election.

Jennifer McClellan, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, also works for Verizon as assistant general counsel, “focusing on state regulatory matters for several states.”

Boyd Brown of South Carolina runs Resurgens, a government relations (lobbying) firm in South Carolina. The firm’s site says they “bring a concept to lobbying that the rest of the Statehouse lobby does not: countless personal relationships with the House and Senate memberships, state agency contacts and a deep understanding of how things get done inside the South Carolina General Assembly.” Brown is not a registered lobbyist, either federally or in South Carolina.

Several superdelegates work for consulting, communications or strategy firms whose work touches on lobbying: Alice Huffman, a superdelegate from California, is the president of AC Public Affairs, which offers “public affairs,” “public policy advocacy” and “building opinion leader support.” Maria Echaveste, also from California, works for NGV LLC, which does “executive branch advocacy” and “legislative strategy.”

There are still a number of superdelegates we haven’t yet looked into, so please continue to send us what you find!