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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Goth_SkunkNiiiiiiiiiiice!07/08/2015 - 2:03am
Andrew EisenThe original movie's Ecto-1 was a '59 Cadillac. I don't know cars but Twitter tells me this is an '84 Cadillac. The original Ghostbusters came out in '84. Cute!07/08/2015 - 1:14am
Andrew EisenHere's the back side: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61862135787884953607/08/2015 - 1:07am
Andrew EisenNew Ecto-1! https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61860585924191846507/08/2015 - 12:58am
Goth_Skunk"The New Totalitarians Are Here" from The Federalist. http://ow.ly/Pjz3b07/07/2015 - 11:31pm
MattsworknameThere was a time in america when we needed unions and they served a good purpose, but that time hasnt been tbe case for about 20 years or more. The same could be said of our current system for teachers in higher educatoin,but thats a whole nother story07/07/2015 - 10:22pm
TechnogeekIn large part, though, that's an extension of the level of unjust deference given to police in general. Kind of hard to find any real grievances to defend against when the organizational culture views "complains about coworker" as worse than "murderer".07/07/2015 - 8:45pm
TechnogeekThat's a police union.07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
TechnogeekNo, police unions are worse by far. Imagine every negative stereotype about unions, then add "we can get away with anything".07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
 

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