WASHINGTON — Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson said Tuesday that, as far as he knows, he has not taken campaign contributions from lobbyists.
Beilenson (D-Los Angeles) was responding to a study released last week showing that he received nearly a fifth of his contributions in 1989-90 from a category that included lawyers and lobbyists. The Times published a story Friday about the survey.
"As far as I know, I haven't gotten money from lobbyists," Beilenson said. "Virtually all of the people who give me money are personal friends back home in Los Angeles."
Larry Makinson, the study's author, confirmed Tuesday that his records show Beilenson received no money from lobbyists and that virtually all of the lawyers who contributed to the veteran lawmaker are from California. None reside or work in the Washington area.
"If he wants to make that distinction, it's a valid one," Makinson said.
The study, titled "Open Secrets," was compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a bipartisan research group in Washington. It includes a detailed profile of contributions for all 535 members of Congress.
Beilenson, one of the few members of the House of Representatives who refuses to take money from political action committees, received $39,550 from lawyers--nearly a fifth of his total.
"These are lawyers in Los Angeles who happen to be friends of mine," Beilenson said.
The study noted that many Washington attorneys double as Capitol Hill lobbyists. And it said only a fraction of the law firms that seek to influence legislation for clients register as lobbyists under a loophole-ridden federal disclosure law.
Beilenson said he did not have a policy of refusing to accept campaign funds from lobbyists. But, he added, "I can't recall when I've even been knowingly offered a contribution by a lobbyist."