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 recently hosted a webinar around pay-to-play compliance with two experts on the topic—Ki Hong of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Heather Traeger of TRS, where we covered important, timely issues around the 2020 election. Given the complexity of pay-to-play regulations and potential severity of penalties for violations, as well as the historic political involvement in this election cycle, understanding and monitoring for these risks has never been more important.
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We’re continually updating our political contribution compliance platform to better serve our customers. We’re excited to highlight the most recent additions in our latest feature update.