Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

December 1, 2011 -

If you want to know why your favorite senator or congressional representative is supporting Protect IP and SOPA, all you need to do is follow the money. First where is the money coming from? Big media, of course. The Sunlight Foundation does an excellent job of gathering all the info on this topic in one easy post.

The biggest benefactors of big media's money are California Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Adam Schiff, though - as the group indicated earlier this month - the bill's (Lamar Smith, R-Texas) sponsor has had a lifetime of taking money from various groups repping the music, TV, and movie industry to the tune of almost $400,000 during his entire career as an elected representative.

First some numbers from the 25 Democrats and Republicans that co-sponsored SOPA (these are career totals, not recent donations, for the record):

• Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., $1,727,156
• Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., $516,400
• Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., $488,731
• Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., $488,636
• Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., $392,995 (sponsor)
• Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-VA, $316,686
• Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., $261,700
• Rep. Lee Terry, R-Nev., $248,168
• Rep. John Barrow, D-GA, $210,900
• Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., $204,199
• Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., $133,023
• Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., $130,100
• Rep. John Carter, R-Tex., $75,850
• Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., $64,648
• Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA, $54,000
• Rep. William Owens, D-N.Y., $42,850
• Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., $30,000
• Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Penn., $21,300

Meanwhile the nearly 40 co-sponsors of the Protect IP Act in the Senate have received more than $13.5 million from various lobbies and companies related to the entertainment industry:

• Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., $1,996,470
• Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., $1,465,160
• Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $1,295,718
• Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., $899,366 (sponsor)
• Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., $890,668
• Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., $747,491
• Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mont., $503,291
• Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., $493,069
• Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, $492,407
• Sen. Robert Menéndez, D-N.J., $445,575
• Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., $430,500
• Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., $368,733
• Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., $365,589
• Sen. Robert Casey, D-Penn., $343,225
• Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., $312,320
• Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., $297,771
• Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, $291,621
• Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, $284,225
• Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., $254,162
• Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., $237,084
• Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., $230,569
• Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., $218,539
• Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., - $217,847
• Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., - $171,790
• Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., $158,066
• Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., $94,450

Finally, The Sunlight Foundation points out just some of the companies, groups and former lawmakers lobbying for these two bills:

- Comcast Corporation, which spent nearly $4 milion during the third quarter of this year lobbying against the PROTECT IP Act and other bills. Comcast lobbyist Joseph Trahern is a former aide to cosponsor Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and lobbyist Phil Tahtakran is a former legislative director to SOPA cosponsor Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
- National Cable and Telecommunications Association spent $90,000 on lobbying for this bill and others. NCTA hired lobby firm Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock. Firm lobbyist Aleix Jarvis, who worked on the NCTA account, is a former legislative director for cosponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
- Cox Enterprises Inc. spent $790,000 lobbying for this bill and others.
- Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. spent $600,000 lobbying for this bill and others during the third quarter.

Of course, lobbying lawmakers is a road with two directions and Amazon and Google have certainly been pushing back too:

- Amazon spent $450,000 on lobbying during the third quarter, some of which was pushing against this bill. Google Inc. also spent some of its $80,000 in third quarter lobbying on fighting this measure, as did Intel, which spent nearly $1 million lobbying in Q3. Sunlight Foundation says that lobbying began in October on SOPA, so it should show up on fourth quarter lobbying disclosure forms.

Source: The Sunlight Foundation


Comments

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our U.S. government - bought and paid for by corporations!angry

At least when Yee's bill got up to SCOTUS, there was a reasonable chance that it would have been defeated.  With the kind of money the industry is throwing behind this bill, and Amazon, Google and Intel's efforts looking paltry by comparison, it's going to take a miracle to keep this thing from passing.

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

Unfortunatly the only alternative is to have taxpayer funded elections.

Getting elected is VERY expensive... so the only people who can run are either very rich, or take donations from groups like this.

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

No the alternative is for voters to actually educate themselves. The only reason it costs so much to run is because weak minded people are easily swayed by television ads. If people actually researched candidates based on their history, they could elect honest people.

Tax funded elections would only make it harder for 3rd party and independent candidates to compete as the bar for accessing those funds will be raised higher and higher by incumbent parties.

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

Tech industries have been all over this bill. The problem is that very few people in congress are listening. Take the recent committee review of it. THere were 5 representatives for the bill and 1 against it. They intentionally stacked the deck.

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

That most of those who are opposed are being shut-out of the discussion process makes me all the more fearful that this is going to go through with very little argument.  I'm writing my representatives here in MD.  Cardin may be on the payroll, but it doesn't look like Ruppersberger and Mikulski are.

Short of targeting the pro-SOPA lobbyists, I don't know what else can be done.

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

So, NBC supports SOPA & Protect IP, and Comcast is against it?

Can we say "Talking out both ends?"

Re: Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

AFAIK, Comcast owns the network infrastructure on which NBC broadcasts its channels. The two have different goals.

 
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Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
SleakerAre you trying saying that specific costumes are sexist simply by being included in the game?09/01/2014 - 3:03pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Seems completely cut and dry to me (of course, I wrote it so that's not surprising). What about it do you find confusing?09/01/2014 - 2:25pm
 

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