Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

August 5, 2010 -

As the economy trudges along and prices rise across the board for the working man, you’ll be pleased to note that the business of lobbying is apparently recession proof.

A report from Open Secrets reveals that special interest groups spent over $852 million across April, May and June of this year. Overall more than 11,100 groups hired over 10,500 lobbyists (outnumbering members of Congress by about 20 to 1 it was noted) during 2010’s second quarter.

Companies falling under the umbrella of finance, insurance or real estate spent $126 million lobbying over the three month period, a gain of 12 percent over the same period one year earlier. Commercial banking interests spent $15.5 million lobbying during the quarter, up 20 percent, while firms from the securities and investment sector dumped $27.6 million into lobbying efforts, a jump of 26 percent.

Lobbying efforts in 2010 are on track to outdo 2009 figures, which was a record year:

Since January, all special interests combined have reported spending more than $1.78 billion on lobbying. If spending continues at this pace, lobbying expenses this year will match, if not eclipse, the record $3.49 billion spent on lobbying last year.

Not surprising then perhaps, that confidence in congress is at an all time low.

Image taken from a fascinating (and disturbing) Lawrence Lessig presentation, which discusses the subjects of lobbying and campaign finance.


Comments

Re: Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

As much as it sucks, lobbying is how things get done in governments. 

At least they "drained the swamp"...oh, wait. :(

Re: Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

What exactly does lobbying entail? Meeting members of congress? Writing legal letters? I don't understand why it's quite so expensive.

Re: Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

Lobbying is a way for businesses and special interest groups to contact members of the legislative branch in order to pass laws that are friendly to the lobbyist's employer.

The reason it is looked at so negatively is for many years these lobbyists have been giving gifts and meals that most people would consider excess. They pay for trips to hot vacation spots, buy meals at expensive restaraunts, buy watches and suits etc. They do all this while the rest of us US citizens have to email, write letters and make phone calls and hope that we get through the assistant filter in order to actually talk to our elected representatives.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

'Gifts'. Like all those dinners for Biden, the trips for Clinton, the list goes on and on and on.

Draining the swamp my ass.

 
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