First Street 30 – Methodology


The First Street 30 was compiled by the First Street Research Group, which analyzed available lobbying data from the first three quarters of 2011. To qualify for the First Street 30, the lobbyist had to be active and working for a lobbying firm on behalf of multiple clients in 2011.


The First Street 30 is organized into three distinct sections:

  • Ex-Member: The registered lobbyist is listed in First Street as a former member of Congress
  • Ex-Staffer: The registered lobbyist is listed in First Street as a former congressional staffer;
  • Professional Lobbyist: The person is a registered lobbyist with no previous congressional employment or membership listed in First Street after 1993.

The lists do not represent a “top 10” or “best of” for each category, but instead include a diverse group of lobbyists who represent a high number of clients and/or high cumulative-paying clients.

The First Street Research Group selected the qualifying lobbyists by examining the number of clients represented, and the total amount of money those represented clients paid to the firm. The top lobbyists for each of these factors were included in each list. For the remaining spots, individuals were selected based on the previous factors, as well as number of Fortune 100 clients represented and diversity in client lists between lobbyists. After a lobbyist was selected for a list, lobbyists from the same firm with similar client numbers and reported figures were generally not added to the same list. As more than one lobbyist can represent a client for a firm, the total amount of money does not represent the amount the lobbyists was solely responsible for. If the reported amount was less than $5,000 it was not included in the cumulative amount.

Lobbying Data:

First Street uses lobbying disclosure data published by the Clerk of the House of Representatives ( The data is collected from the published XML format and aggregated by First Street.

For more definitions, as they relate to Lobbying Disclosure data, visit

The First Street 30 includes lobbying data published as of November 6, 2011.

First Street Data:

First Street primarily uses disclosed previous positions to determine if a registered lobbyist is a former member of Congress or Congressional staffer. If a disclosure has not been reported, First Street verifies the connection on an individual basis. Additionally, for former members of Congress who have become lobbyists, First Street notates their former membership on a case-by-case basis.

First Street contains information on members of Congress and Congressional staffers going back to 1993. This information comes from the CQ Press Congressional Staff Directories (, where First Street has digitized one edition from each year (1993–2010) and integrated that data.

Other Factors:

The Fortune 100 clients were matched manually from the top 100 companies in the 2011 Fortune 500 list ( Subsidiary companies and companies with complex name changes were not matched during the matching process.


© 2011, CQ Press, An imprint of SAGE Publications. All Rights Reserved. CQ Press is a registered trademark of Congressional Quarterly Inc.


First Street consolidates vital Congressional, government, and lobbying information from authoritative data sources, giving users an unprecedented understanding and visualization of the relationships shaping policy. CQ Press derives such information from public sources believed by CQ Press to be reliable and accurate at the time of providing the information. To report any errors, please email us at

More Information:

For any further information on the First Street 30, please contact:

First Street Research Group
CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE Publications
2300 N Street NW
Washington DC 20037
(202) 729-1800

Download the full report

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