The new Lobbying Contributions Search database allows users to search past contribution filings (LD-203).
A number of filers are adding interesting notations in the “Comments” field of the form. For example, this form includes a notation, “After performing reasonable due diligence, and to the best of my knowledge, I am in compliance with the Standing Rules of the House and Senate.” The form requires registrants to certify, of course, that they have read the rules and have not provided gifts that would violate the rule.
UPDATE: I’ve reviewed a number of additional forms, and there are some other interesting comments. One reads, “The information in this report is provided in good faith and is accurate to the best of the undersigned’s knowledge and belief.” Is this meant to establish or anticipate a legal defense in the event the report is incomplete or an improper gift was provided? Or is it just that the filer “had their fingers crossed behind their back” when they filed?
UPDATE #2: It seems like a few strategies developed; some major firms and companies left off the “restrictive” comments on their forms and some included them. The comments field is not searchable, so the only way any one would find them is by looking form by form.
There also seem to be PACs where apparently no lobbyists established or controlled the PAC (as evidenced by the absence of the PAC’s contributions on the lobbyist’s LD-203), even when the corporation employs lobbyists.
Aside from that, there are a few listings with the decimal points off. For example, one lobbyist is listed as contributing $1,000,000 to a federal candidate. The limit is $2,300 per election.