Some Colorado lobbyists aren’t ‘necessarily’ required to report who pays them

KUNC (Greeley): Colorado lobbyists representing the Denver Broncos, Peabody Energy, Dow Chemical, United Airlines and a host of other companies didn’t report income from their clients in 2017.

Because several of the lobbyists work for law firms, the lobbyists are paid by the firm, not from specific clients. According to the Secretary of State’s office, that means they don’t necessarily have to report income from specific clients.

Even if it isn’t required by law, most lobbyists — including some law firms — do report income from their clients.

“People have a right to know what’s being spent to influence policy in our state,” said Mike Beasley, a lobbyist since the early 1990s.

That’s the intent behind 2006 and 2014 laws requiring lobbyist disclosure, according to former state Sen. Morgan Carroll, now chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party.

“You don’t get a get-out-of-disclosure-free card as a lobbyist just because you happen to be a lawyer,” she said. “If you’re acting like a lobbyist you need to disclose like a lobbyist.”

KUNC compared companies represented by lobbyists with whom lobbyists (or their firms) reported receiving payment from. One public affairs firm began reporting its client income in September after questions from KUNC.

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