It was the biggest settlement since lobbying reforms were passed two decades ago.
The Justice Department announced that one of Washington's top lobbying firms would pay a fine after being charged with repeatedly failing to disclose its activities.
The $125,000 civil penalty the Carmen Group agreed to this summer was not Earth-shattering in its sum. But it reverberated through an industry in which no one has been prosecuted for failing to comply with a disclosure law passed in 1995 that lobbyists routinely flout.
Lobbying, once seen as a way to ply lawmakers with steak dinners and cigars in exchange for favors or at least consideration, has evolved into a vast,...