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Lobbying Transparency: How Comprehensive Datasets are Changing the Game

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Lobbying has long been viewed as a murky and opaque practice. Those with money and influence have been able to shape policy behind closed doors, often with little accountability or oversight. However, the rise of comprehensive datasets is changing the game, allowing for greater transparency and empowering citizens to hold their lawmakers accountable.

The Power of Comprehensive Datasets in Lobbying Transparency

Comprehensive datasets are collections of information that cover a broad range of topics or areas. When it comes to lobbying, comprehensive datasets include information on lobbying spending, the issues being lobbied on, and the specific individuals or organizations doing the lobbying. These datasets are becoming increasingly important in shedding light on the lobbying process and making it more transparent.

One of the most comprehensive datasets on lobbying is maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics. Their OpenSecrets.org website allows users to search for information on lobbying spending, including which organizations are spending the most money, which issues they are lobbying on, and which lawmakers they are targeting. This information is updated regularly, providing a real-time view of the lobbying landscape.

Another important dataset is maintained by the Sunlight Foundation, which tracks lobbying registrations and terminations. This helps to ensure that all lobbyists are properly registered and that their activities are being disclosed in a timely manner. Sunlight’s lobbying database also allows users to search for lobbying activities by organization, issue, or lawmaker, providing a wealth of information on who is lobbying for what.

How Transparency is Revolutionizing Lobbying Practices

The availability of comprehensive datasets is revolutionizing lobbying practices, making it more difficult for special interests to operate in the shadows. By shining a light on the lobbying process, these datasets are empowering citizens to hold their lawmakers accountable and to demand greater transparency in the legislative process.

In addition, comprehensive datasets are making it easier for journalists and watchdog groups to investigate and report on lobbying activities. This has led to numerous exposés on the influence of special interests in politics, and has helped to spur reforms aimed at increasing transparency and accountability.

Overall, the rise of comprehensive datasets is a positive development for democracy. By making the lobbying process more transparent, citizens are better equipped to hold their lawmakers accountable and to demand reforms that serve the public interest.

While there is still much work to be done to ensure that lobbying is truly transparent and accountable, the availability of comprehensive datasets is a step in the right direction. As more data becomes available, we can expect to see greater scrutiny of lobbying activities and a renewed focus on putting the public interest first.

LobbyingData.com’s Data and Insights

We created LobbyingData.com to address the need for more transparent and accessible information into the world of lobbying. Many people know that companies like Google, Pfizer, and Lockheed are lobbying the federal government, but few know the extent to what is happening. How much are they spending on it? Which agencies are they targeting? and most importantly, what bills are they lobbying on, and why?

We answer all of these questions by transforming difficult to understand government information into easy-to-understand and actionable datasets and information.

As an example we’ll use the recent CHIPS Act that was passed by Congress.

We tracked every company lobbying on the bill in real-time, allowing our users to quickly identify potential opportunities with firms that supported the bill, such as which one could receive an advanced manufacturing tax credit, and who sought to secure chips act funding.

When the CHIPS Act hit Congress, we saw research firms publishing reports on the potential impact of the legislation on the semiconductor industry. With lobbying data, you could tie this back to the individual company level. And recently, a new lobbying ETF was launched, built off the notion that political capital is an overlooked intangible asset that could produce excess stock returns.

To summarize, our data makes it easy to see, both on a real-time and 24 year historical basis:

  1. Every entity that has ever lobbied the federal government.
  2. The dollar amount they spend on it
  3. The names and prior government experience of the exact lobbyists they hired
  4. And most importantly, why: the exact bills and specific issues lobbied on.

We’ve mapped out every entity involved in lobbying across time, from 1999 to present, and to their ticker symbols so you can easily gain insight from money in politics, whether its another variable in your research, a new input for your models, or another layer in your due diligence.

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