Some information about lobby information

What is a Lobbyist?

A lobbyist is an activist who seeks to persuade members of the government (like members of Congress) to enact legislation that would benefit their group.

Lobbying is a regulated industry and a protected activity under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees rights to free speech, assembly, and petition.

Professional lobbyists research and analyze legislation or regulatory proposals, attend congressional hearings, and educate government officials and corporate officers on important issues. Lobbyists also work to change public opinion through advertising campaigns or by influencing ‘opinion leaders’.

#Who spent the most money to lobby?

Sector Total
Misc Business $8,132,254,991
Health $8,081,900,301
Finance/Insur/RealEst $8,042,885,550
Communic/Electronics $6,433,109,959
Energy/Nat Resource $5,764,206,025
Other $4,037,224,213
Transportation $3,996,913,258
Ideology/Single-Issue $2,538,630,287
Agribusiness $2,341,286,863
Defense $2,264,984,599
Construction $883,473,981
Labor $778,078,337
Lawyers & Lobbyists $483,356,955

#Which one is the top issue?

Issue No. of Clients*
Fed Budget & Appropriations 14,088
Health Issues 8,112
Defense 7,760
Taxes 7,035
Transportation 6,152
Energy & Nuclear Power 5,296
Environment & Superfund 4,863
Government Issues 4,509
Trade 4,387
Education 4,231

#The Full issue code list

Code Description Code Description
ACC Accounting HOM Homeland Security
ADV Advertising HOU Housing
AER Aerospace IMM Immigration
AGR Agriculture IND Indian/Native American Affairs
ALC Alcohol & Drug Abuse INS Insurance
ANI Animals INT Intelligence and Surveillance
APP Apparel/Clothing Industry/Textiles LBR Labor Issues/Antitrust/Workplace
ART Arts/Entertainment LAW Law Enforcement/Crime/Criminal Justice
AUT Automotive Industry MAN Manufacturing
AVI Aviation/Aircraft/Airlines MAR Marine/Maritime/Boating/Fisheries
BAN Banking MIA Media (Information/Publishing)
BNK Bankruptcy MED Medical/Disease Research/Clinical Labs
BEV Beverage Industry MMM Medicare/Medicaid
BUD Budget/Appropriations MON Minting/Money/Gold Standard
CHM Chemicals/Chemical Industry NAT Natural Resources
CIV Civil Rights/Civil Liberties PHA Pharmacy
CAW Clean Air & Water (Quality) POS Postal
CDT Commodities (Big Ticket) RRR Railroads
COM Communications/Broadcasting/Radio/TV RES Real Estate/Land Use/Conservation
CPI Computer Industry REL Religion
CSP Consumer Issues/Safety/Protection RET Retirement
CON Constitution ROD Roads/Highway
CPT Copyright/Patent/Trademark SCI Science/Technology
DEF Defense SMB Small Business
DOC District of Columbia SPO Sports/Athletics
DIS Disaster Planning/Emergencies TAR Miscellaneous Tariff Bills
ECN Economics/Economic Development TAX Taxation/Internal Revenue Code
EDU Education TEC Telecommunications
ENG Energy/Nuclear TOB Tobacco
ENV Environmental/Superfund TOR Torts
FAM Family Issues/Abortion/Adoption TRD Trade (Domestic & Foreign)
FIR Firearms/Guns/Ammunition TRA Transportation
FIN Financial Institutions/Investments/Securities TOU Travel/Tourism
FOO Food Industry (Safety, Labeling, etc.) TRU Trucking/Shipping
FOR Foreign Relations URB Urban Development/Municipalities
FUE Fuel/Gas/Oil UNM Unemployment
GAM Gaming/Gambling/Casino UTI Utilities
GOV Government Issues VET Veterans
HCR Health Issues WAS Waste (hazardous/solid/interstate/nuclear)
WEL Welfare

#Who do lobbyists work for?

Lobbyists represent just about every American institution and interest group - labor unions, corporations, colleges and universities, churches, charities, environmental groups, senior citizens organizations, and even state, local or foreign governments.

#Does a lobbyist have to be registered?

Since 1995, the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) has required individuals who are paid for lobbying at the federal level to register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House. Lobbying firms, self-employed lobbyists and organizations employing lobbyists must file regular reports of lobbying activity.

Most the above Q&A come from

#Where to get lobbying data?   

  1. lobbyview: created by In Song Kim,
    • Characteristics:
      • Sorted information.
      • Has firm identifier which can easily link to COMPUSTAT and Orbis.
      • Need to write a crawler to download data
      • Bad website design, will need some time to write crawling code.
    • Used paper:
      • KIM, I. S. (2017). Political Cleavages within Industry: Firm-level Lobbying for Trade Liberalization. American Political Science Review, 111(01), 1–20.
  2. Center for Responsive Politics (CRP,
    • Characteristics:
      • widely used in related financial and economic researches;
      • Easy to use;
      • Hard to match;
    • Used paper:
      • Borisov, A., Goldman, E., & Gupta, N. (2016). The Corporate Value of (Corrupt) Lobbying. Review of Financial Studies, 29(4), 1039–1071.
      • Davis, A. K., Guenther, D. A., Krull, L. K., & Williams, B. M. (2015). Do socially responsible firms pay more taxes? The Accounting Review, 91(1), 47–68.
      • Di Giuli, A., & Kostovetsky, L. (2014). Are red or blue companies more likely to go green? Politics and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Financial Economics, 111(1), 158–180.
      • Minnick, K., & Noga, T. (2017). The influence of firm and industry political spending on tax management among S&P 500 firms. Journal of Corporate Finance, 44, 233–254.
  3. Official Lobbying Data.
Written on May 17, 2018