While lobbyists and their employers in 39 states spent more than $715 million wining, dining and generally influencing state lawmakers in 2002, many details about how those dollars were spent remain hidden from public view, according to a comprehensive analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.
Election campaign records following the past legislative session in Florida show that sugar and telephone companies both gave the most and got the most in return. Loosened pollution restrictions in the Everglades and an impending increase in telephone service rates, the largest in history, appear to be the payoff for more then $3.5 million the industries gave to state-level candidates and committees.
While the giant US media networks are covering the US's invasion of Iraq, they are also heavily lobbying to get rid of restriction on the number of TV and radio stations they can own in one market.The Guardian reports media critics are alarmed by what they see as a "serious conflict of interest" concerning how the broadcast industry covers the Bush administration.
Why is it that abolishing the estate tax is on the public agenda?
"In an unusual mix of investor relations and grassroots political outreach, several corporate giants have sent letters to shareholders asking them to contact members of Congress to support President Bush's proposed dividend tax cut," PR Week writes. "[S]everal large dividend-paying companies, including GM, Citigroup, Southern Company, ChevronTexaco, and Verizon, have sent such letters to shareholders. 'We think this proposal makes good economic sense, and is good for our stockholders and General Motors,' read a recent letter to GM shareholders from president and CEO Rick Wagoner.
"Turkey, which agreed on April 2 to let the U.S. transport supplies through its territory to coalition forces in Iraq, used its large team of American lobbyists to get its message of long-term friendship and strategic importance across to members of Congress," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "The lobbyists were sent into action after some members of Congress, who were upset over Turkey's refusal to let U.S.
When voters elect a Representative they also are frequently launching the education and career of a future corporate lobbyist. Don't pity the retired or (rarely) defeated incumbent because their truly lucrative political career just begins when they join the ranks of millionaire lobbyists. "Dick
Armey, the departing House majority leader, summarized the
situation in his usual succinct style when he was asked on
Friday how much money he would be making in his new job
starting this week at Piper Rudnick, a law firm with a
O'Dwyer's reports that top PR and lobby firms for the Saudis are dodging subpoenas from the Congressional Committee on Government Reform. Says the O'Dwyer website (now only accessible by subscription, but well worth the fee), "Michael Petruzzello, head of Qorvis Communicatins and Jack Deschauer of Patton Boggs, were not found at their offices or homes by U.S. Marshals, according to The New York Sun. A lawyer for Jamie Gallagher of the Gallagher Group stalled Congressional staffers until too late in the day for agents to serve a subpoena, reports The New York Post.
"Having spent more than $30 million to help elect their allies to Congress, the major drug companies are devising ways to capitalize on their electoral success by securing favorable new legislation and countering the pressure that lawmakers in both parties feel to lower the cost of prescription drugs, industry officials say.
"The Forest Products Industry National Labor Management Committee, a group that says it wants to 'balance economic and environmental concerns' when it comes to managing America's timber, paid Ogilvy PR Worldwide $100,000 during the first-half of this year to make its case in Washington, D.C.," O'Dwyer's PR Daily writes. The group lobbied against EPA regulations on new industrial emissions. "The Committee members include the American Forest & Paper Assn., and forest industry groups in California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana and the Rockies. It also counts the International Assn.