Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

What Lobbyists Say On Twitter

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 9 2011

The Sunlight Foundation* today released a Twitter list of registered lobbyists.

Lists are fun, sure. But what's a little more fun is how Sunlight built the list:

By querying Twitter’s API, we tried to match the names of thousands of registered lobbyists from Center for Responsive Politics data with Twitter user names. Because Twitter only allows a limited number of queries each day, matches were only attempted for about one fourth of the over 15,000 lobbyists that were registered in 2009 or 2010. When a lobbyist’s name matched a Twitter user name, and when more biographical data matched the details in the Twitter profile, the account was included in our list. Then, we supplemented the list by searching Twitter for lobbyists we are familiar with and top spending lobbying firms.

There are 235 lobbyists on the list so far, offering what's supposed to be a look into the daily routines of people with influence on the Hill. The number of queries Twitter allows a given computer to make per day is limiting — but I wonder what would come out of a more detailed analysis of those tweets. For example, I wonder what lobbyists' tweets, taken in aggregate, tell us about what they think of D.C.'s lobbying regulations?

(* Personal Democracy Media's Micah Sifry and Andrew Rasiej are senior advisers to the Sunlight Foundation.)

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Creeping

Senator Al Franken's tough questions for Uber's CEO; how the NSA could make its phone metadata program permanent; global privacy groups launch a personal spyware catcher called Detekt; and much, much more. GO

Recreation.gov and other Govt Projects Move Toward Embracing New Digital Approach

A draft request for proposals for the revamping of Recreation.gov will include a requirement that reservation availability data be publicly accessible and that all proposals detail how they will enable third-party sales, as two members of the United States Digital Services have joined the government team overseeing the RFP, meeting some key demands of civic technologists and consumer oriented technology companies. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Ubermenschens

Surge-pricing in effect for Uber privacy violations; why "privacy" policies should be called "data usage" policies; pols silent on Uber mess; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Uber Falles

Uber exposed for plan to dig up dirt on journalist critics; sneaking a SOPA provision into the USA Freedom Act; high-speed free WiFi coming to NYC; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Differences

How to use Twitter to circumvent campaign coordination rules; the net neutrality debate keeps getting hotter; charting the gender balance at dataviz conference using dataviz; and much, much more. GO

More