Erickson & Company is not a lobbying firm. Instead, it helps set up events like the Heath Shuler’s BBQ, at which lobbyists and other people seeking special favors can come, check in hand, to pay for access to elected officials and their aides.
In other words, it’s a legal [and Democratic-aligned] money-laundering facility for lobbyists. Need to toss Heath Shuler some cash, but you’re a dirty lobbyist? Well, go to Shuler’s little BBQ (run by a go-between), drop a grand for a plate of food, and say hi! No fuss, no muss, no need for disclosure. Shuler’s happy: he’s getting his cut of your entry fee. The go-between is happy: it’s getting its cut of your entry fee. And you’rehappy: this is a lot cheaper than a maximum campaign contribution would be.