Three of the files in the first presentation at data.fec.gov are the result of disclosure requirements in the Honest Leadership Open Government Act. This legislation requires campaigns, party committees and Leadership PACs to disclose the names of lobbyists (or PACs controlled by lobbyists) if they have "bundled" contributions of more than $16,000 to the campaign or party or leadership PAC during six month periods of time. We have also prepared a much more detailed description of the requirements.
In order to implement these requirements, the Commission needed to identify which committees met the definition of "lobbyist registrant PAC" and which were "leadership PACs" and, of course, we also need to disclose the filings for bundled contributions. These three sets of data are reflected in the new files appearing at data.fec.gov.
We'll be doing additional more specific posts related to each file, but there are also a couple of general things to keep in mind when you're looking at lobbyist bundling disclosure. First, its important to keep in mind the amount thresholds that trigger disclosure (i.e. the "more than $16,000 in the period" provision) and also that there are requirements that the receiving campaign or committee have a process to formally give credit to the bundler before the reporting requirements take effect.
Also, this is the first formal identification of leadership PACs that has been required, so its the first time we've been able to compile lists of these PACs. Remember, though, that these rules only apply to groups controlled by federal elected officials or candidates for federal office. There may be committees organized or controlled by other individuals who don't meet these two conditions, and these committees won't appear in our list of leadership PACs.