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Majority of K Street Lobbyists' Former Capitol Hill Staff

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Newly released data from the Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) at George Washington University reveal, for the first time, that nearly 55 percent of lobbyists are former employees of the U.S. Congress, while only 26 percent formerly worked for the executive branch of government.

The survey, released on Oct. 24, centered on the impact of federal lobbying disclosure laws on the lobbying profession. September 2012 marked the fifth anniversary of the enactment of The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA).

Eight-hundred-sixty-five lobbyists took part on the research. The margin of error for the study was +/- 3.2 percent. This means that the results accurately reflect the lobbying industry as a whole.

The study also showed that 40 percent of lobbyists were self-identified Democrats; 33.4 percent are self-identified Republicans; 14.7 percent are independents. Over 50 percent of lobbyists are over 46 years of age. Sixty-nine-and-a-half percent of lobbyists are male.

It is no wonder that the majority of lobbyists previously worked on Capitol Hill. But it is the first time we have statistics to confirm what has been thought about the background of lobbyists in the nation's capital.

Having worked on the Hill, these current lobbyists and former staffers have intimate knowledge of how the Congress really works, what pressure can be brought to bear on decision-makers to get a lobbyist's desired result, and how to sustain and build strong personal relationships with Member(s) of Congress and their staff.

The complete study can be found at lobbyists.info/HLOGA_Five_Year_Survey.

The research was produced in partnership with GSPM, Lobbyists.info, and Herndon, Va.-based market research company ORI.