Edward Newberry, a partner in Patton Boggs" public policy and
lobbying division, had an enviable book of business in 2011, based
on his federal disclosure reports.
The next year, Newberry vanished - at least from the public
records used to track K Street. He hasn"t appeared on any client
reports filed under the Lobbying Disclosure Act since then.
But Newberry still works at Patton Boggs, the city"s largest
lobbying practice. He became the firm"s managing partner, and now,
instead of traipsing up to the Hill on behalf of clients, he says he
delegates those duties to others so he can run the business.
Some advocates may de-register or become inactive to shield their
clients or themselves from the stigma of being represented by
registered lobbyists. Still others may have their eyes on a job in
the Obama administration, which prohibits recently registered
lobbyists from serving without a waiver. But Newberry illustrates
how decisions to stop reporting federal lobbying can be driven by
more mundane reasons.
"I really don"t do any lobbying now,' Newberry said. "This is a
$320 million partnership, and I spend my full time in that role.'
In 2011, his clients included the cities of Greenville, S.C., and
San Diego, Calif.; Inova Health Systems; Ohio University; and the
Denver Regional Transportation District. He said most remain
connected with Patton Boggs but are now represented by the firm"s
other registered lobbyists. "We always served them with a team, and
the team"s still here servicing those clients,' he said.
The Center for Responsive Politics in a recent report looked at
individuals who were registered lobbyists in 2011 but who did not
report any lobbying activity under the LDA in 2012 or 2013. The
organization, which tracks lobbying and campaign finance data,
concluded that nearly half of those inactive lobbyists continued to
work for their same employers.
Experts on the LDA say the law provides many "loopholes' for
those who lobby to escape reporting. Advocates who restrict lobbying
activity to less than 20 percent of their time don"t need to report,
and neither do behind-the-scenes advisers, unless they make more
than one lobbying contact with a government official.
"I don"t think most people go out of their way to hide in the
shadows, but that"s the effect,' said Tim LaPira, a political
science professor at James Madison University, who focuses on
lobbying laws. "I think Congress is to blame, not K Street. This is
a poorly written law.'
Like Newberry, a team of lobbyists from AARP stopped appearing on
the senior group"s LDA reports in 2012 but are still employed there,
including Katie Gallehugh, Adam Goldberg, Fred Griesbach, Desiree
Hung and Lori Parham. …