BUSINESS

Lobbyist-Backed Parties At RNC Skirt The Law

The Chairman of the Republican National Convention (RNC) Reince Priebus gavels the convention to order at the Tampa Bay Times
The Chairman of the Republican National Convention (RNC) Reince Priebus gavels the convention to order at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 27, 2012. Due to tropical storm Isaac, the convention was called to order and then immediate recess until the afternoon on Tuesday, August 28th. The 2012 Republican National Convention is expected to host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. AFP PHOTO Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)

The 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act prohibits lawmakers from attending convention parties that are "directly paid for by a registered lobbyist" or "a private entity that retains or employs such a registered lobbyist." Here's the loophole: As long as lobbyists and their employers do not directly pay for the party, it's a free-for-all.

So lobbyists are creating separate consulting firms to throw parties on their behalf. These consulting firms are then selling party sponsorships to the lobbyists' corporate clients, so the events still offer an opportunity for corporations to get cozy with lawmakers.

For example, the firm GOP Convention Strategies, which is sponsoring parties for Republican lawmakers at the convention, is backed by Republican fundraisers, consultants and lobbyists, according to NBC News.

For more on the "pop-up lobbying" trend, head over to NBC News.

(Hat tip: Newser.)

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