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How accurate are lobbying figures?

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As part of our Statelight project, we’re reaching out to open government and open data activists around the country to contribute to (and expand!) the #opengov dialogue. Today, we welcome Diana Lopez to give some insight into the complications of lobbying reform. Lopez is the Senior Editor of Government Lobbying at Sunshine Review. She focuses on government lobbying disclosure and moderates #FOIAchat, a weekly Freedom of Information Act Twitter chat held every Friday at 2PM EST.

Sunshine Review

When looking at lobbying figures, it is important to keep in mind that you're looking at reported lobbying data. Not all lobbying is reported, however. Under federal law, lobbyists must register only if they:
  • make more than one contact,
  • spend more than 20 percent of their time lobbying
  • have more than $11,500 in expenses, or
  • have $3,000 in income from lobbying per quarter.

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