Recently, when previewing First Street we were asked how much of the Lobbying Disclosure data is included in the product. In particular, is LD-203 data available? It is. And it’s especially important for making connections between people and organizations in our database that we wouldn’t be able to make otherwise.
LD-203 forms are filed twice a year by registered lobbying organizations and individual lobbyists. They detail their political contributions (over $200) and also list any Political Action Committees (PACs) they “established or control”. Any events sponsored by the filer to honor a candidate would also be reported on this form. The requirements are detailed here in Section 203
Once this data is incorporated into the First Street database, the user will be able to trace connections and have a more complete view of the relationships involved. Beyond following the money, you also can see connections based on issues and people. For example:
- On what issues does a lobbyist usually work? And how closely aligned are they with the issues important to members to whom they contribute?
- Is a corporate PAC mostly involved in campaigns in its home state and district? Did it support winners or losers in the last election?
- When a lobbying firm’s PAC is contributing to a particular member, did any of its lobbyists used to work for that member?
- Are a firm’s PAC and its client’s PAC contributing to an overlapping group of candidates?
- On what Congressional Committees do the recipients of contributions sit?
By incorporating the LD-203s into First Street, you can explore it seamlessly with other lobbying disclosure data, lobbyists work histories, detailed information on Congress Members, and contribution information about PACs not related to lobbying groups.