Lobby Power: A Slicing and Dicing of Lobbying Dollars
Mon’s NY Times gave star treatment to the list of lobbyists—several of them in telecom—who have contributed to Sen John McCain‘s (R-AZ) presidential campaign. NCTA pres/CEO Kyle McSlarrow made the list, having raised more than $100K for McCain. Kirk Blalock, whose clients include Viacom and Sprint, has brought in more than $250K. About one-sixth of the fundraisers who have brought in $100K each for McCain are lobbyists, the Times reported. The Republican trails Democratic hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in fundraising, who have done a better job soliciting small-dollar donations from the Internet. Obama’s made a point not to accept money from federally registered lobbyist. Lobbyists spent a record $2.79bln last year to lobby in DC, an increase of 7.7% over ’06, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Pharmaceuticals/health spent the most on lobbying efforts ($227mln). TV/Movies/Music, which includes Comcast and NCTA, ranked 12th with nearly $77mln spent. The list of Top 20 Lobbying Spenders for ’07 include a few familiar names: AT&T ($16.9mln), Verizon ($14mln) and NCTA ($13mln). Comcast’s $8.7mln made it one of the biggest spenders in the TV/Movies/Music industry, but it was shy of the $10mln+ needed to make the Top 20 list. Beginning this year, lobbying reports will be filed quarterly with Congress instead of twice a year. Mon was the deadline for filing reports covering lobbying in Jan through Mar of ’08.