If you’ve ever tried to dig deep into lobbying reports and registrations, you know it can be quite the headache. Filings with the Senate Office of Public Records can be tedious to comb through, with multiple reports or different spellings for the same client.
Enter Capitol Metrics, a subscriber site that functions like an uber dashboard, allowing you to cross search by client, firm and quarter.
Founder and principal John Brain says he came up with the idea for the site about three years ago while helping a family friend as he was exploring merging his boutique lobbying shop.
“In conversations, I found out that he had no way of finding out details of firms he was just interested in talking to,” Brain recalls. “It’s difficult to get just a general lay of the land.”
Brain had previously worked for a New York law firm, where he helped create databases showing what other firms were doing and how much they were getting paid. He took that idea and applied it to the world of influence by combing through piles of raw data.
The site allows you to track filings of clients and competitors by quarter. You can look up specific companies to see all of the firms they have hired, client lists of firms, which clients have higher or lower firm fees in any given quarter, recent registrations or terminations and how much companies spend on lobbying particular issues. The site allows you to easily compare the data to your own firm or client profile and create email alerts.
“We are tailored specifically to the business of lobbying. Other constituents are concerned about the quarterly reports. That could be a big deal to a firm that represents a client, that somebody is getting paid more,” Brain says.
Brain says since launching a year ago, he’s had a 100 percent renewal rate, and counts Capitol Counsel LLC, Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and Biotechnology Industry Organization among his clients.
But if the service sounds handy, it’ll cost ya – a yearly, single subscription is $600.