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.