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Signing up clients is usually something to brag about. However, last week many lobbyists were surprised to hear they had registered to lobby on behalf of themselves. The Senate Office of Public Records had erroneously registered firms like Patton Boggs, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, and the PMA Group as in-house lobbyists working on issues like appropriations, anti-terrorism, and defense. Spokespersons for the firms confirmed the registrations were actually on behalf of paying clients. The mix-up was due to a glitch in the Senate’s online registration forms and comes as the House made online filing mandatory Jan. 1. Online filing and proposed increased reporting requirements as part of lobbying reform have firms like Patton Boggs concerned about trying to “streamline” the process. Pamela Gavin at the Senate Secretary’s office says the office is “trying to harmonize” its files with the House’s.
Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected].

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