Political operatives and lobbyists continue to take spins through the revolving door between government and the private sector ... And without action from Congress to change lobbying rules, undisclosed lobbying activities are still running rampant, an OpenSecrets analysis indicates.
When an individual engages in advocacy to influence public policy but does not register as a lobbyist, it's typically referred to as "shadow lobbying."
It's common, for example, that a top government affairs employee oversees lobbying activity but never actually registers under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) by exploiting its various loopholes.
This phenomenon extends to former members of Congress who advise lobbying firms but don't register, or heads of trade associations who run multi-million dollar lobbying operations but don't register. This can leave a portion or, in some cases, all of a lobbying operation's details hidden from the public. Also not disclosed in public lobbying filings are the millions of dollars corporations and trade associations spend on public relations and ad campaigns to influence policymakers.
In this report, OpenSecrets looks into several aspects of unreported lobbying and advocacy. Click the links below to navigate the report: