LD-203 Data Under the Microscope

Did you file your LD-203 data early?  Your reward may be more stories like this one from CQ.

Along with millions of dollars in campaign contributions, new reports show that lobbyists spent about $1.5 million to help pay for parties, fundraising events and meetings for members for Congress during the first half of this year.According to a CQ MoneyLine analysis of reports filed so far with Congress before the lobbying disclosure deadline of July 30, nearly $1.2 million is listed as “honorary expenses” and another $300,000 as meeting expenses — all of it associated directly with either legislative or political events tied to lawmakers or government officials.

Those figures could increase dramatically, however, as more individual lobbyists and firms report their expenses over the next two days. As of Sunday night, 7,000 disclosure forms and amendments had been filed, but some lobbying and campaign finance experts estimated that as many 40,000 could come in by the deadline of midnight Wednesday.

“We are expecting about 40,000 filers,” said Jan Baran, the head of the election law and government ethics group for Wiley Rein. Baran feels some sympathy for the congressional offices responsible for enforcing the new lobbying rules, but he said the process has been “incoherent and chaotic” so far because reporting guidelines were changed earlier this month and disclosure forms were only made available to lobbyists a month ago.

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