As a result of the Cook County, Illinois Lobbyist Sunshine Ordinance, the Cook County Clerk has recently launched a searchable database of lobbyists and lobbying activity. Previously, lobbyist information was presented as PDF documents. Lobbyists are now required to provide more detailed information about their lobbying, including who their clients are, what they talked about, where and when they spoke, and how much they were paid. They are also required to submit new client information within 48 hours of being contracted or face an ethics investigation and stiff penalties.
The database is broken into four sections where you can search for lobbyists, clients, activity and compensation. Searches can be made by keyword, lobbyist or official. You can also view alphabetical lists of lobbying data.
The public has a desire for a more open and transparent government. Cook County has taken a step in the right direction with providing its residents with increased awareness of who is trying to influence their county officials.
You can find other state and local lobbying information, as well as ethics and campaign disclosures on the Free Public Records Directory.