Recent disclosure reports are now providing a great amount of detail into contributions made by registered lobbyists, and the result is…lobbyists are loyal?
As a result of the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, the disclosure reports that have been released give insight to the specifics of lobbyist contributions. Lobbyists are now required to file semi-annual disclosure reports, detailing contributions made individually and contributions made as leaders of an organization. A public database created by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives contains all the details of the disclosure forms; the reports indicate that lobbyists donated over $140 million to campaigns in the first half of 2008.
One might expect a lobbyist to hedge their bets by donating roughly equal amounts to members of both parties. However, the disclosure reports show that individual lobbyists tend to stay within party lines when contributing—the New York Times surveyed the top 50 lobbyists who donated over $25,000 and found that nearly half made more than 80% of donations to Democrats while the other half contributed similarly to Republicans. Not only are total contributions nearly split between parties, but lobbyists are remaining relatively loyal to the party they choose to contribute to.