October 14, 2019

Using illumis data, POLITICO uncovers Juul's massive lobbying campaign

illumis aggregates public records data, including federal, state, and local lobbying registrations, into one simple search

Please Note: Since this article was published, Vigilant has rebranded as illumis. The post below has been updated to reflect this change:

POLITICO recently dug into the lobbying efforts of Juul Labs with the help of public records data compiled by illumis.

Juul Labs, according to POLITICO, “has spent millions of dollars on lobbying, hired high-profile Trump administration officials, and blanketed Washington with ads touting its efforts against underage vaping.”

Leveraging illumis’ public data aggregation, POLITICO revealed Juul hired more than two dozen lobbyists—including former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and former Democratic Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley—to lobby federal and state officials on behalf of the e-cigarette company:

Juul has hired lobbyists in at least 38 other states as well as New York City, Chicago and the District of Columbia, according to data compiled for POLITICO by [illumis], a company that aggregates public records data.

illumis, which was named the winner of the GEN Startups for News competition in 2018, is a public data monitoring platform that enables real-time search and monitoring across of public data sets. We’ve made research into lobby records—like the ones highlighted in POLITICO—as easy and as fast as possible. In one simple search, illumis provides the data from federal lobbying registrations (including the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and Department of Justice FARA); state-level lobbyist databases from all 50 states and D.C.; and lobbying registrations in major cities and counties across the country.

With illumis, searching all of these lobbying databases takes only a few seconds, and the results represent the most recent available information because illumis Search updates in real time. We’ve also created illumis Alerts to help journalists and other research teams receive notifications whenever new filings post.

Alongside lobbying records, illumis aggregates public data from thousands of other sources, including business registrations and licenses, campaign finance data, court records, data breaches, and more. You can request a trial here.


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We started Vigilant with a clear problem in mind: government records are far too difficult to access. This impedes transparency, and makes it harder for people who need access to this information to do their jobs. Over the last four years—whether it’s wrangling antiquated databases, messy archived documents, or records scattered between hundreds of balkanized datasets—we’ve worked to enhance transparency and make it easier to access public data.
compliance updates
We’ve been working closely with our customers to build a more streamlined political contribution monitoring system. Today, we’re excited to introduce the newest release on our political contribution monitoring platform: preclearance record matching.
compliance updates
We’re excited to announce we’ve added a streamlined, fully-customizable preclearance tool to illumis’ political contribution monitoring solutions. Our preclearance feature ties political contribution preclearance data and monitoring data together in a single workflow for the first time, enabling significant automation to save time and improve processes for compliance teams across the financial services industry.