Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 the Year of the Lobbyist

It's becoming more and more about connections to the power centers. And more regulations will mean even more power centers to corrupt in the years ahead.

In 2009, lobbyists are on track to shatter last year’s record $3.3 billion spent to lobby Congress and the rest of the federal government — and that’s with a down economy and about 1,500 fewer registered lobbyists in town, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics,reports Politico's Victoria McGrane.

The year-end lobbying expenditure figures don’t come out until late January, but the top line number will likely exceed the $3.3 billion spent in 2008. Groups spent $2.5 billion during the first three quarters of 2009, which is a slightly faster quarterly pace than 2008, according to CRP.

And the lobbying expenditure figures don’t include the heaps of cash interest groups are throwing at advertising, coalition-building, grass-roots and Astroturf outreach — all of which don’t get reported in the figures. Advocacy groups have spent almost $200 million on ads on the health care issue so far this year, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, says McGrane.

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