New Database: "See Who's Lobbying the California Legislature"
From California Watch:
California interest groups have filed nearly 7,000 reports in the first half of 2011 disclosing what bills and issues they have lobbied in state government. We’ve taken those forms and created a one-of-a-kind database that allows you to search who is lobbying any bill before the Legislature.
Simply type a bill number into the system and get a list of all the interests that declared an intent to lobby that bill on their Form 635s [PDF].
There are a few important caveats to keep in mind.
In order to extract the individual bills from the filings, California Watch relied on human data entry workers — a necessity, given the varied, unstructured nature of the filings. Anytime human beings perform large-scale data entry, some errors are inevitable. We took a statistically significant sample of our data entry results and found that between 2 and 7 percent of the records in the database likely had some kind of problem caused by human error: mostly typos and omissions.
We fixed the most obvious issues, but the point remains: Don’t look at these results as gospel. Each result returned by our database also includes a link to the original reports, so if something looks out of place, by all means verify it.
See Also: More California Watch Online Databases
Hat Tip/Thanks: @iwatch
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.