Lobbying ‘activities’ might be broader than some think

In the Feb. 26 edition of The Hill, the article “K Street grows, maybe even beyond disclosure,” referenced disclosure requirements of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1996.

The LDA definition of “lobbying activities,” or “lobbying contacts,” is explained in the joint guidance issued by the secretary of the Senate and the clerk of the House. The guidance makes clear, for example, that depending on the situation “status” requests, “monitoring,” and “communications” may fall within the definition of lobbying activities, and the costs related to such lobbying activities must be included in the total of lobbying firm’s lobbying receipts and organization’s lobbying expenses.

Our offices advise callers every day to disclose all of their lobbying activities and costs accurately and completely. To suggest that there is a blanket carve-out of the three aforementioned activities is incorrect. We encourage filers, the public and the press to call our offices with any questions so that they may receive accurate guidance and assistance.


Capitol Police needs shake-up

From Andy Manatos

As a former Capitol policeman, I have had a soft spot in my heart for the force. However, I am now concerned.

The bizarre conduct of officers, like the fire-starting policewoman, may not be so rare. For answering my vibrating cell phone in the Dirksen metal detector line a policewoman, while voicing loudly “security risk,” embarrassingly threw me out of the building.

To my shock I later learned that cell phone use is still allowable.

Worse yet, the response to my letter to the police resulted in no follow-up with me whatsoever, but simply a letter that said there is no “evidence to substantiate your complaint.”

A force that selects such people and won’t seriously investigate such conduct needs a major shake-up. I hope it happens before our legislative branch faces a serious challenge.

Bethesda, Md.

It’s about candidates, not the campaigns

From Eugene Kaufman

It is fascinating and frustrating to watch the analysts, consultants, pundits and talking heads analyze and dissect what Hillary should be doing, and should have done, to jump start her campaign and where she went wrong.

The bottom line is that after all is said and done, after people have analyzed the positions and statements, after people have seen the candidates up close and personal, folks vote for someone they like. Also folks vote for the one that they think is less of a thief than the other one. American politics is great that way. Simple as that. The exception to the rule being right-wing fundamentalists who will vote for anyone against homosexuals and abortion.

Boca Raton, Fla.