08/28/2012 10:21 am ET

Lobbyist-Backed Parties At RNC Skirt The Law

Even though it's against the law, lobbyists are throwing parties for members of Congress at the Republican National Convention, NBC News reports.

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.)