Whether they’re tweeting about meeting with the political elite or eating breakfast on the subway, US political lobbyists are under careful scrutiny over what they post to Twitter.
The Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan organization dedicated to political transparency, has put together a list of Washington lobbyists who use Twitter in order to give the public access to the musings of these influential individuals.
In its blog announcing the new scrutiny over lobbyists’ tweets, The Sunlight Foundation explains that while lobbyists have been slower on the Twitter uptake than journalists or politicians, those who do tweet often “reveal insider tidbits about what they are monitoring, who they are influencing, and how Washington works, all in real-time.”
And they were thorough in putting together this master list: they queried Twitter’s API in an attempt to match lobbyists’ names with Twitter user names, and searched Twitter for lobbyists they knew personally or who were regularly in the news.
Sunlight Foundation’s Gabriela Schneider spoke to Politico about the information the list provides to the public:
“This is a way for Americans and people online to see how certain lobbyists are wielding their influence. This gives you a window on how Washington works, in real time.”
There are already quite a few examples that the Sunlight Foundation was able to gather of lobbyists tweeting interesting – and relevant – information about the political arena.
For instance, one lobbyist Rob Nichols (@ForumPrez) tweeted live from a charity event which boasted Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Joe Lieberman in attendance. And another revealed that he would be attending a specific committee meeting on Capitol Hill.
The list itself provides a rare glimpse into the world of high politics, and is a great follow for any political pundits, junkies, or simply concerned citizens who want to keep tabs on how the political elite operates.