While Washington lobbyists are often portrayed as villains, they truly were bad guys in one recent official document.
A lobbying registration form that appeared last month in a House of Representatives database listed four lobbyists who would work on renewable-energy issues: Jack Napier, Edward Nigma, Otto Octavius and Norman Osborn.
Those names are known for belonging to comic-book villains – Batman foes the Joker and the Riddler, as well as Spider-Man enemies Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin.
So who’s the joker who registered the Joker as a lobbyist?
It was not a case of an actual lobbyist having fun with a disclosure form, but rather the result of an internal test by the Clerk of the House’s staff.
The clerk’s office said the form should never have appeared in a public listing, and it was working to remove all such test files.
Daniel Auble, a senior researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that tracks lobbying, said he has seen this type of filing before.
“The lobbying data from the Clerk of the House has filings like this periodically that usually make clear they are from training or testing that they run internally. It is a disappointing practice that they allow such data to remain in the public record rather than expunging it immediately,” Auble told MarketWatch. “The Senate’s version of the data does not suffer from this problem.”
The name of the firm employing the comic-book villains was given as “Best Lobbying Firm Ever,” and the address, phone number and email on the form all appeared to be fake.