Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

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.

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