Transparency Texas is excited to announce our newest feature: Texas Lobbying Data. After more than a year spent carefully building our user-friendly database, we now offer the most comprehensive, searchable source of information on the money spent to lobby your representatives in Austin.
You can see the names of the lobbyists who are “wining and dining” and seeking to persuade Texas politicians to vote in their favor. You can also see which organizations are hiring those lobbyists, how much they’re paying, and whether they are using your tax dollars to do it all.
On the Lobbyists page, you’ll find a list of individuals who have been hired to represent an organization’s interests in Austin. We refer to organizations who hire lobbyists as Lobbyist Clients.
Typically, the lobbyist advocates for legislation that benefits their client in some way. They meet with lawmakers to attempt to persuade them and often take lawmakers out to meals, sporting events, and other entertainment.
On the Lobbyist Clients page, you’ll find a list of organizations that hire lobbyists to advocate for the organization’s interests in Austin.
We have categorized the Lobbyist Clients into two groups: Private and Tax-Payer Funded.
Private organizations are those which receive their funding primarily from private enterprises.
Tax-Payer Funded organizations are those which receive all or almost all of their funding from taxing authorities, such as a school district.
It’s worth noting that many entities we have classified as Private still receive some (and in many cases a lot of) money from taxing authorities. But, in the interest of clarity, we have classified entities as Private unless they receive all or almost all of their funding from a taxing authority.
Lobbyists are required to report their compensation in one of three ways: Prospective (after they have been hired by the client but not yet done the work), Earned (after they have done the lobbying but not yet received compensation), and Paid (after they have actually received the compensation). Once lobbyists have filed a Prospective report, they are not required to amend the report with actual earnings by filing the Earned or Paid reports. Because the Prospective reports are the most comprehensive, the numbers you’ll find on our site reflect Prospective compensation only.
Lobbyists are allowed to report their compensation in ranges. We have included a screenshot from the Texas Ethics Commission’s lobbyist reporting form as an example. We have reported the lobbyist’s compensation at the high end of the range he or she selected. These amounts include not only income to the lobbyist for their work, but also reimbursements to the lobbyist for money spent to entertain politicians.
At Transparency Texas, we strive to provide citizens with the best, most complete, and most accurate data possible. The numbers you search are just a few of the millions of transactions included on our site. If you see something you believe is inaccurate, let us know. We know how many of you rely on our data to make informed voter, donor, and campaign decisions, and we want to ensure that our numbers are correct. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.