The Sacramento-based public relations firm run by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief fundraiser "is representing a local developer who, while working to block a bill at the Capitol, has agreed to help host a fundraising dinner on the governor's behalf." It's the fourth time that clients of fundraiser Marty Wilson's firm, Wilson-M
"Vested interests are working harder than ever to achieve their goals in state capitols and state agencies across the country," reports the Center for Public Integrity. The organization's review of 2004 lobbying activities found that nearly $953 million was spent "attempting to influence state legislators and executive branch officials" in the 42 states that track such spending.
"Election to Congress used to be an end in itself. Now, for nearly half of federal lawmakers, it is a steppingstone to a second career: lobbying," the Washington Post reports. According to a new study by LobbyingInfo.org, a project of the liberal group Public Citizen, 43 percent of Congressional members who have left office since 1998 have registered to lobby.
The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has released the results of its year-long investigation into lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry, which found that the industry has spent more than $800 million since 1998 on lobbyists and political campaigns. In the past year alone, the industry hired nearly 1,300 lobbyists, including hundred of former public officials.
"Ed Gillespie, who will help promote President Bush's future nominee to a vacancy on the Supreme Court, is a top-tier lobbyist who represents a host of clients with direct and indirect interests in the outcome of Supreme Court decisions." Gillespie's task is "to use the tools and techniques of a presidential campaign to put together a conservative political machine equipped to take on the alliance of groups on the political left." But his firm,
"Saying their livelihoods are threatened, powerful forces that drive California's $27 billion agricultural economy are mobilizing to defeat a November ballot initiative to ban biotech crops in Sonoma County, and possibly even prohibit such county bans with new legislation in coming days," reports the Sacramento Bee.