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December 9, 2016
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August 24, 2001
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October 6, 1975
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Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 01 oRecord United States of America PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 94th CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION WASHINGTON, MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1975 Senate By Mr. RIBICOFF (for himself, Mr. BROCK, Mr. JAVITS, Mr. KEN- NEDY, Mr. MUSKIE, Mr. PERCY, Mr. RoTI-H, Mr. STAFFORD, and Mr. CHILES) : S. 2477. A bill to provide more effec- tive public disclosure of certain lobbying activities to influence issues before the Congress and the executive branch,. and for, other purposes. Referred to the Com- mittee on Government Operations. Mr. RIBICOFF. Mr. President, today I am introducing the Lobbying Act of 1975 on behalf of myself and Senators BROCK, JAVITS, KETTNEDY, MUSKIE, PERCY, ROTH, STAFFORD, and CHILES. I ask unan- imous consent that a summary of the bill be inserted in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD at the end of my remarks. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. RIBICOFF. The legislation I am Introducing today is an effective, fair, and workable lobbying reform bill. Such 'legislation is long overdue. Senators BROCK, JAVITS, KENNEDY, MUSKIE, PERCY, and STAFFORD have all introduced lobbying bills of their own this year. I am grateful that each one of them has chosen to be a cosponsor of this bill. They have all significantly con- tributed to the legislation. Earlier this year the committee held a total of 3 days of hearings on legisla- tion to reform the present lobbying laws. The witnesses at the hearings all agreed that reform of the present lobbying law was essential. The 1946 act is too limited in scope, too vague in its wording, and too weak in its enforcement authority. A 1970 House report described the pres- ent act as a thoroughly deficient law. A report the General Accounting Ofllce prepared this year for me similarly emphasized the inadequacies of the pres- ent law. The report stated that in one recent reporting period 48 percent of the lobbying reports filed were incomplete, and 61 percent were received too late. Yet, the Justice Department has investi- gated only five complaints of violations of the law since March 1972. In the 29 years since the lobbying law was passed there has been only one successful prose- cution for violation of the law. The re- port of _the General Accounting Office concludes that- The The Department of Justice does not moni- tor the registration or disclosure require ments of the Act or evaluate the effective- n or compliance with Act. Lobbying serves a very useful role in the decisionmaking process. Without it Congress would be deprived the informa- tion and the variety of viewpoints it should have. But the ineffectiveness of the current law has cloaked the lobbying process in unnecessary secrecy. Neither the Congress nor the public have any accurate picture of the lobbyist's activi- ties. For Congress to operate effectively and for the public to understand, the legislative process, and to participate in it a.5 effectively as possible, basic infor- mation about lobbying must be public. The Supreme Court recognized the need for disclosure of lobbying activi- ties in its opinion reviewing the 1946 act. In that case, entitled United States against Harriss, Chief Justice Warren said of lobbying that-- Full realization of the American ideal of government by elected representatives de- pends to na small extent on their abiitty to properly evaluate such pressures. Otherwise the voice of the people may all too easily be drowned out by the voice of special inter- est groups seeking favored treatment while masquerading as proponents of the public weal. The Lobbying Act of 1975 will tell the Congress and the public what interests are making significant efforts to in- fluence the legislative process, what Is- sues they are attempting to influence, and how much money they have spent in the effort to do so. The bill would give a comprehensive picture, for the first time, of the lobbyist's efforts to influence an issue before Congress, including his efforts to generate grass roots support for a particular position. At the same time, the bill is carefully drafted to in- sure that no one will be deterred from fully participating in the public debate on any matter by unnecessarily broad or detailed lobbying laws. Under the bill's provisions only an or- ganization, or an individual retained by someone else to lobby for him,.could be a lobbist. The bill defines organization to include both. businesses, labor unions, and public interest -groups. The bill thus avoids sweeping into its coverage the Individual citizen who wishes to com- Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 municate hiispviie?ws on any issue0to/ / 0 : CIA- ac i7n0Mt4% iV80&olrts are cov- gress. Such a person would not be a ered if the solicitation reaches 500 or lobbyist under the law no matter how more members of the general public and often he exercises his constitutional right the solicitation costs more than $200 to to petition his government for a redress prepare and distribute. Additional pro- of grievances. visions require an organization to register With respect to direct efforts to in- as a lobbyist if it organizes a nationwide fluence Congress, an organization is a grass-roots lobbying campaign by re- lobbyist under the bill's provisions only questing a number of its affiliates at the if it attempts to influence an issue before State and local level, or its own em- Congress by talking to, a Congressman or ployees, to communicate with Congress his staff on 12 or more occasions in a or the executive branch. 3-month period. Organizations are The bill does not make members of thus excluded if their lobbying efforts the public who themselves communicate are too infrequent to have any significant directly with Congress about purely effect on Congress. An additional pro- executive agency matters lobbyists. Cov- vision provides that if the officials of an erage of such activities raises special organization converse only with the Sen- problems because of the extent and va- ators or Congressmen who represent them, the organization will not, just be- intends to look at this matter carefully cause of these contacts, become a during its forthcoming hearings on lob- lobbyist. bying legislation. In addition, Senator At the same time, the bill does guar- antee that any organization that lobbies Congress in a sustained fashion will be a lobbyist. By basing the definition of a lobbyist on the` number of contacts the organization makes with Congress, the' bill provides a clear standard which will allow any organization to easily tell whether or not it is a lobbyist. The bill relies on the number of contacts to define a lobbyist, rather than the amount of money spent by the lobbyist on lobbying, because such. a contacts test most ac- curately reflects the extent and impact of the organization's lobbying activities. Furthermore, the bill's definition of a lobbyist as one who makes 12 contacts provides a test any organization may ap- ply without the extensive bookkeeping required by a test based on the amount of money it spends of lobbying. An individual who is employed by an organization to lobby for it would not himself be a lobbyist, although his ac- tivities would be likely to make the or- ganization he works for a lobbyist. An individual would be a lobbyist in his own right only if he receives money from someone else for the specific purpose of attempting to influence an issue before Congress, and communicates with the Congress on one or more occasions in an effort to influence an issue before Con- gress. The bill recognizes that a lobbyist may also try to indirectly affect an issue be- fore Congress by persuading a large number of other people to express their views to Congress. In order to judge how representative such views are of the general public, Congress must know whether the letters it receives reflect the spontaneous expression of the public's feelings, or whether they have been gen- erated by the lobbying efforts of a spe- cial interest. Since the executive branch as well as Congress may receive such letters, the bill also covers efforts by lob- byists to mobilize public support or op- position for any action a Federal agency may take. riety of the contacts. The committee KENNEDY'S Subcommittee on Administra- tive Practice and Procedure presently has under consideration S. 1289, which re- quires Federal agencies to keep a public record of the most important contacts between Federal officials and outside par- ties. This bill, which I cosponsored, may prove to be a very sensible, alternative way to assure full disclosure of which in- terests seek to influence important execu- tive agency decisions. Organizations or individuals who do engage in substantial lobbying efforts will have to file reports that will give Congress and the public an accurate pic- ture of their lobbying activities. The re- ports a lobbyist will file will disclose each issue the lobbyist worked on, and the method it used to try to influence Congress. At the same time, the bill's reporting requirements will not weigh the lobbyist down with unnecessarily extensive re- porting requirements.. To avoid cumula- tive or unnecessary filing, the bill does not require each individual who works as a full-time employee of an organization which is a lobbyist to also file as a lobby- ist. A local organization that does noth- ing but solicit its members at the re- quest of a national organization would not also have to file as a lobbyist, but the report filed by the national organiza- tion would have to include information about the solicitations made by its affiliates. The exact type of information a lobby- ist must file is carefully tailored to fit each particular kind of lobbying activity involved. For example, an organization will have to estimate the total amount of money spent on all its efforts to di- rectly lobby Congress during the period. It will not have to itemize the amount of money spent in directly trying to in- fluence any particular issue before Con- gress. On the other hand, an individual or an organization which lobbies on be- half of someone -else is required to file more detailed financial statements about Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 Approved Fo Rg aste 2001108f30 : CIA-RDP77M001j4R?0 0015002-1 g g the amount o money his cl en pays m the definition. n ual w o en a es in for his services. Any lobbyist who en- lobbying activities as a paid employee of the gages in an indirect lobbying campaign organization on whose behalf he lobbies on any issue will have to file a full re- would not have to file a report as a lobbyist, port On the amount of money spent on although his activities would be likely to make the organization a lobbyist. In that that campaign. case, his name would appear on the report as The bill requires the lobbyist to list one who did lobbying for the organization. any officer, director, or paid employee To be a lobbyist the individual must also who directly spoke to a Federal officer on directly communicate one or more times with one or more occasions in an effort to Congress during any three month period about influence a particular issue before Con- an issue before Congresse. The bill terms such a contact with Congress "a gress and to identify the issue involved. lobbying communication". An individual On the other hand, it does not require would also be a lobbyist if he Is 'paid to urge the lobbyist to file an individual record 5 o re o her persons ur ng the same of each conversation the lobbyist had :)eri5tt'ttr co sate w congress or an with any Member of Congress or his a ranch agency on any issue before it. This is termed "a lobbying solicitation". staff. In addition to an individual, an organiza- The bill gives the enforcement author- tion may also be a lobbyist. The bill defines ity to the General Accounting Office. The "organization" broadly to include businesses, agency successfully administered the labor unions, and voluntary membership or- Federal Elections Campaign Act for sev- ganizations. eral An organization becomes a lobbyist if it years and has the necessary per- engages in lobbying communications or so- sonnel and experience to enforce this licitations on its own behalf or on behalf of new law. The General Accounting Office its members in any of the following three will have the full investigative and ad- ways: ministrative powers, and the range of (1) Engages orally, and on its own behalf, sanctions, it needs to do an effective job. In a total of 12 or more lobbying communi. Informal procedures will be used as much cations with Congress during any 3-month as possible and court sanctions will be period. However, communications between a largely civil and injunctive in nature, local businessman on behalf of his company and the Senators and Congressmen who rep- In short, the Lobbying Act of 1975 Is resent the State where the businessman lives both a strong and balanced bill. On the do not count for purposes of determining one hand, it guarantees the right of whether an organization is a lobbyist. If a Congress and the public to know how lob- local businessman just communicates with byists are attempting to influence the his Senators or Congressman about problems decisions of government. On the other affecting his company, neither the company nor the businessman would be. a lobbyist re- hand, it protects the constitutional rights gardless of the number of times he talks to of every citizen to petition his govern- his Senators or Congressman. ment for a redress of grievances. (2) Expends $200 or more in any 3-month I plan to hold additional hearings period to make solicitations urging 500 or shortly on this bill, as well as the other more other persons to communicate with any lobbying bills that have already been member of Congress about a particular issue, or urging 500 or more persons to communi- intraduced. sate with any executive branch official about Committee action on this much-needed any issue under consideration in the execu- legislation will follow as quickly as pos- tive branch. sible after these hearings are completed. (3) Solicits 50 or more of its own em- The summary follows: ployees or. 12 or more other organizations SUMMARY OF THE LOBBYING ACT OF 1975 with which it is affiliated to communicate An individual may be a lobbyist under the with any member of Congress about a par- bill's definition only if someone else retains titular issue, or solicits the same number him to lobby in some capacity other than as of people to communicate with any Execu- a full-time employee. An organization may tive branch official about any issue under be a lobbyist if it is paid to lobby on behalf consideration in any agency. An organization can also ,become a lobby- of someone else, or if it engages in a sib- 1st if it is retained-by some other person to stantial amount of lobbying on its own be- engage in the same lobbying activities that half. The bill does not make any other indi- would make an individual who is retained vidual or organization a lobbyist. Thus, it in for pay a lobbyist. no way affects the individual citizen who DEFINITION OF LOBBYING COMMUNICATIONS expresses his personal views to Congress on OR SOLICITATIONS any matter, regardless of the extent of his Since the definition of a lobbyist is large- activities. ly based on the number of lobbying commu- Any organization or individual who is a nications or solicitations certain individuals lobbyist must register with the Comptroller or organizations make, the definitions of General and file quarterly reports with the lobbying communications and solicitations Comptroller General. The bill authorizes the are an essential part of the bill. Comptroller General to enforce the bill's pro- A lobbying communication includes, except visions and establishes sanctions for any vio- for certain specified exemptions, any direct lations. communication with members of Congress DEFINITION OF A LOBBYIST or their staff, in order to influence any issue For an "individual" to be a lobbyist he before Congress. The term "issue before Con- must be retained for money by someone else. gress" covers the entire range of matters Only independent contractors and similar considered by Congress including bills, reso- types of individuals retained to perform a lutiQns, nominations, hearings, or investi- specific lobbying task are included within gations. Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 A lobbying communication also include any direct col nunication between a lol3by- ist and a l !ederal agency official where the lobbyist tries .to get the Federal official to express a particular position before Congress. Similarly, it includes any. dlrrect effort to get a member of Congress to influence the deci- sion of any matter under consideration by theexecutive branch. A lobbying solicitation arises whenever a person requests other persons to write or otherwise communicate with Congress about an Issue before Congress. Similarly, the term Includes any effort by a person to get.others to write or otherwise communicate with the executive branch about any issue before the executive branch. - - Certain efforts to influence an issue be- fore Congress or the executive branch are specifically excluded from the definition - of lobbying communications or solicitations. The exclusions cover: A communication or solicitation by an in- dividual acting solely on his own behalf for redress of personal grievances or to express his own personal opinion. Requests for Information about the status, existence, or effect of a bill or other issue before Congress. Communications or solicitations by a Fed- eral officer or employee of the executive branch, or communications or solicitations by a Member, officer, or employee of Congress. Testimony or subpoenaed information sub- mitted to a congressional committee. Communications or solicitations by State or local officials, by candidates for Federal, state, or local offices, or by National, State, or local political parties. Communications or solicitations (other than advertisements) appearing on televi- sion or in newspapers or other publications distributed to the general public. REGISTRATION AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS _ An individual or organization which meets the definition of a lobbyist must register annually with the Comptroller General. The registration must contain basic in- formation about the identity of the lobbyist, list any individuals whom the lobbyist ex- pects to pay to do lobbying, and generally describe the subject matter - of the types of issues before Cou ress or the executive branch which the bbyist expects to seek to influence, and the means the lobbyist ex- pects to influence such types of Issues. The lobbyist must also disclose the identity of any other "organization" which financially supported his lobbying activities during the past year,: and each "individual"- who pro- vided more than 5 percent of the lobbyist's funds for lobbying during the past year. In the case of a lobbyist who is retained for money, the registration will include the Identity of the person who retained him, and a description of the financial terms under which the lobbyist was retained. If the lobbyist is a voluntary membership organiza- tion, such as a trade association or a public Interest group supported by Its members, the registration would disclose the approxi- mate number of persons who are members, as well as a description of procedures the organization follows In establishing its posi- tion on particular issues. In addition to registering with the Comp- troller General, a lobbyist will have to file reports every three months describing his lobbying activities. The precise informa- tion which the lobbyist must provide in the quarterly report will vary depending on the exact nature - of the lobbyist's activities. For example, the bill requires less detailed fi- nancial data from -an organization which lobbies on its own behalf than from an, individual who is retained by a client to lobby on a particular issue. REPORTS OF LCBBYISTS RETAINED FOR PAY TO LOBBY DIRECTLY A lobbyist retained by any other: person to lobby for him by engaging in one or more lobbying communications must-- (1) disclose the Identity of the person on whose behalf he is acting and laow much money he was paid by such person for his services in connection with each issue; (2) identify the issues he worked on for each client and the lobbyist's position on the issue; (3) list any individuals who In turn were paid by the lobbyist to make one or more lobbying communications during the period; and (4) provide a general description of any lobbying "solicitations" concerning an issue before Congress which were made by the lobbyist for the person who retained him and which are not otherwise reported. REPORTS OF ORGANIZATIONS LOBBYING FOR THEMSELVES Any organization which is a lobbyist be- cause it engages on its own behalf in 12 or more oral lobbying communications must- (1) identify each issue which it sought to influence by making one or more lobbying communications; (2)1disclose the identity of each officer, di- rector, or employee of the organization who orally engaged in one or more lobbying com- munications, along with a description of the Issues on which he worked; (3) disclose the identity of any affiliated organizations the lobbyist solicited concern- ing an issue before Congress, along with a description of the particular Issue involved; (4) provide a general description of any lobbying "solicitations" concerning an issue before Congress made by the lobbyist not otherwise reported; and (5) estimate the total expenses incurred by the organization In connection with all its lobbying activities during the 3-month period. - The lobbyist would not have to Itemize the amount spent on particular issues or esti- mate the particular amounts spent on sal- aries, overhead, or the like. REPORTS OF LOBBYISTS THAT SOLICrt - Any lobbyist that solicits 500 or more other persons, 50 or more of its employees, or 12 or more of its affiliates on a particular Issue before Congress or the Executive Branch, and meets, where applicable the $200 expenditure test must-- (1) provide a sample of any form letter, written advertisement, or other similar writ- ten material used to solicit 500 or more peo- ple; a transcript, if available, of any adver- tisement used to solicit orally 500 or - more people; and a description of the content of other solicitations used by the lobbyist; (2) Identify each issue the lobbyist sought to influence by soliciting the requisite num- ber of persons and the lobbyist's position oil the Issue; (3) estimate the total number of persox? solicited in connection with each issue, in- cluding the number solicited by written means In each state, and identify any affili- ate which helped make the lobbyist solicita- tions, along with an estimate of the number of persons solicited by such affiliate. (4) estimate the total expenses Incurred by the lobbyist in connection with each issue it worked on during the period by soliciting Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 the requisite i%?dof% gsgA01/08/30 (5) if the lobbyist was retained by some other person to engage in the solicitations, the amount of money received by the lobbyist from such person in connection with each issue. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO ALL LOBBYISTS Each quarterly report filed by each lobby- ist would also have to include an identiflea- tion of the lobbyist, and a record of any gift or loan to a Congressman or his staff exceed- ing $50 in value which was paid for by the lobbying organization, or by an individual lobbyist on behalf of the person who retained him. ENFORCEMENT The bill authorizes a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation of the law. Criminal violations are only authorized where any person knowingly and willfully violates the law or files fraudulent informa- tion. The General Accounting Office will have primary responsibility for civil enforcement of the new law. The Comptroller General Is authorized to investigate possible violations and to correct any violations It discovers by informal methods, by cease and desist orders issued after an administrative hearing or through civil litigation in court. The Comp- troller General may also refer any apparent civil violation of law to the Department of Justice for action. If the apparent violation is criminal in nature, tl, a Comptroller must in every circumstance refer the proceeding to the Department of Justice for prosecution. Each lobbyist and each person who retains a lobbyist is required by the bill to maintain financial and other records on which the in- formation filed with the Comptroller Gen- eral must be based. The Comptroller General will have the authority to inspect such rec- ords when necessary. The Comptroller General is also given authority to prepare necessary regulations, develop forms, render advisory opinions when requested, and to issue subpoenas. The Comptroller General is given responsibility for making the registrations and reports pub- lic, and preparing special preliminary reports on' a lobbyist's activities upon the request of a Senator or Congressman. After each 3-month period the Comptroller General will be required to publish in the Federal Register a report based on the registrations and re- ports filed with it summarizing all the lobby- ing activities that occurred pertaining to a specific issue and all the lobbying activities of persons who share an economic, business, or other interest In common. EXAMPLES OF WHO WOULD BE A LOBBYIST The following are examples of which in- dividuals and organizations would be a lobby- ist under the bill's provisions: (1) An individual citizen, concerned about the safety of children's toys, journeys to Washington and talks on her own behalf to staff assistants in the offices of 80 dif- ferent Congressmen or Senators. Including 20 from her own state. The cit zen "is not" a lobbyist because she Is simply expressing on her ' own bohaif her personal concern about a matter. (2) An individual who is personally con- cerned about an environmental issue buys with his own funds an advertisement in the newspaper urging the public to write Con gress in support of a particular environmen- tal bill. The individual "is not" a lobbyist since he is using his own money to express CsRg7gQ144O~q&0 o5n00&n issue before Congress. (3) An individual lawyer is retained by a company to obtain an amendment to a tax bill pending in committee. In connection with the services provided his client, the lawyer drafts proposed wording, and dis- cusses the wording with the staff of the appropriate Committee. The lawyer "Is" a lobbyist. (4) Employees of a national company call Congressional committpes on 20 occasions during a quarterly filing period in order to determine whether the committee has sched- uled hearings on certain bills, and whether the Committee has reported certain other bills out of Committee. In addition, the com- pany president testifies before the Commit- tee on a particular bill. The company en- gages in no other communications with Con- gress. The company "is not" a lobbyist since the bill excludes from its coverage the spe- cific types of communications in which the company engaged. (5) The president of an organization who is concerned about the possible effect of a pending bill on his business travels to Wash- ington and speaks about the bill on behalf of the organization to his two Senators and the Congressman representing the district in which his business is located. He talks a total of 15 times to his representatives or their staff assistants. Since the businessman only speaks to his own Senators and Con- gressmen he "is not" a lobbyist. (6) Three separate individuals employed by an organization call congressional staff aides a total of 40 times during a quarterly filing period in an attempt to secure passage of amendments to three different bills. On a fourth issue the company instructs 15 plant managers to write their own Congressmen on the issue, but it makes no other effort to influence Congress. While none of the in- dividuals would be a lobbyist, the organiza- tion "is" a lobbyist since together its three employees orally engaged in over 12 lobbying communications. The 15 letters sent by the plant managers do not count in determining whether the company is a lobbyist, but since the company is a lobbyist for other reasons, it would also have to report its interest in this fourth issue. (7) A company with a special problem urges various executive branch officials on 10 different occasions to support legislation to resolve the problem. The company also talks on 10 different occasions during the same three month period with members of the appropriate congressional committees or their staff. Since the communications with the executive branch were on legislation pending in Congress, they are lobbying com- munications for purposes of determining whether the company is a lobbyist. Since the total of all oral lobbying communications exceed In this case 12, the company "is" a lobbyist even if it did not communicate with Congress on any other matter during the 3-month period. (8) A national trade association seeking to gain passage of a bill before Congress sends a letter to 5,000 of the leading businessmen An the country urging them to write, or to talk personally, with their Congressmen in support of the proposal. The cost of writing, printing, and mailing the letters was $2,000. Since this solicitation reached more than 500 persons and cost over $200 to prepare and send, the organization "is" a lobbyist. (9) _ A local historic preservation society worried about the possible destruction of Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1 an old federal courthouse spends $100 to pre- pare and distribute a flyer on the street to about 700 people urging them to write the Chairman of the appropriate Committee urg- ing action to save the courthouse. Since the flyer cost less than $200 to prepare and dis- tribute, the local historic preservation so- ciety "is not" a lobbyist. (10) A national trade association directly communicates with Congress only when it wants to know the status of certain bills, but on four occasions, it writes letters to the 50 companies that are members of the trade as- sociation and urges them on each occasion to write their own Congressmen in opposi- tion to a particular bill pending before Congress. This solicitation by a trade asso= elation of more than 12 affiliates means it "is" a lobbyist. (11) The Washington office of a company with 10,000 employees located in five States writes its 500 top management officials and requests them to travel to Washington to talk to their Congressmen and Senators about a bill directly affecting the company. Because the company solicited more than 50 of its own employees, it "is" a lobbyist. The individual employees who travel to Wash- ington to see their Congressmen "are not" lobbyists. (12) A professional association concerned about the possibility that an executive branch agency may propose a certain regu- lation of great importance to its members spends $300 to distribute a solicitation urg- ing the 500 individuals who are members of the organization to write the agency in op- position to the idea. Since the organization urged more than 500 persons to communi- cate with an executive branch agency about a matter before it, and spent more than $200 to do so, the. organization "is" a lobbyist. Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800150028-1