Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

April 22, 2014

Internet-Related Companies Stay Logged In to Congress, Facebook Adds Capacity

Internet-related companies continued to keep their connections with Congress and the executive branch by lobbying during the first three months of the year.

Facebook Inc. was the exception in the field, by increasing their quarterly spending on lobbying by $1.3 million.

Here are some of the top online, computer, software, and technology companies that reported large expenditures for lobbying in the first quarter of the year.

Google Inc. $3,820,000 – down from $3,980,000 in the 4th quarter of 2013.
Facebook Inc. $2,780,000 – up from $1,480,000.
Microsoft Corp. $2,080,000 – down from $2,770,000.
Hewlett-Packard Co. $1,580,000 – down from $1,760,000.
Oracle Corp. $1,510,000 – down from $1,600,000.
I.B.M. $1,260,000 – down from $1,530,000.
Intel Corp.$1,223,000 – down from $1,446,000.
Apple Inc. $1,070,000 – up from $990,000.
Entertainment Software Association 1,001,138 – down from $1,320,000.
Amazon Corp. LLC $830,000 – down from $960,000.

Drug Companies Give Million-Dollar Boost to Lobbying

Five pharmaceutical companies have reported million-dollar increases in their spending on lobbying the federal government during the first quarter of 2014.

Pfizer Inc., Novartis, Johnson & Johnson Services, Bayer Corporation, and Merck & Company have each boosted their lobbying of the executive and legislative branches.

Here are the top pharmaceutical spenders in the first quarter of 2014:

Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers (PhRMA) $4,680,000 – up from $4,050,000 in 2013 Q4.
Pfizer Inc. $3,190,000 – up from $2,090,000.
Novartis $2,580,000 – up from $920,000.
Amgen USA Inc. $2,560,000 – up from $2,330,000.
Eli Lilly & Co. $2,086,000 – down from $2,430,000.
Johnson & Johnson Services $2,110,000 – up from $860,000.
Bayer – $2,040,000, up from $1,000,000.
Merck & Co. $2,000,000 – up from $820,000
Glaxosmithkline $1,630,000 – up from $4,210,000.
Sanofi US Services Inc. $1,570,000 – up from $790,000.
By Kent Cooper Posted at 11:52 a.m.
Corporations, Lobbying

Top Ranking of Organizations Lobbying the Government (Updated)

Twenty-five organizations have reported spending more than $1 million a month lobbying the federal government in 2014.

Here are the top organizations reporting for the first quarter of 2014:

Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. $18,960,000 – up from $16,490,000 in 2013 Q4.
National Assn. of Realtors $7,120,000 – down from $12,620,000.
American Medical Assn. $6,310,000 – up from $4,240,000.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform $6,240,000 – up from $5,810,000.
United Technologies Corp. $5,808,000 – up from $3,870,000.
National Assn. of Broadcasters $5,280,000 – up from $3,800,000.
Dow Chemical Co. $5,100,000 – up from $1,530,000.
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers (PhRMA) $4,680,000 – up from $4,050,000.
Business Roundtable $4,230,000 – up from $4,150,000.
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. $4,140,000 – down from $6,660,000.
American Hospital Assn. $4,060,000 – down from $4,560,000.
Google Inc. $3,820,000 – down from $3,980,000.
By Kent Cooper Posted at 10:19 a.m.
Corporations, Lobbying

April 21, 2014

Comcast and Time Warner Cable Spend $5 Million Lobbying in Q1

Two communications companies hoping to gain government approval of the planned merger of their operations, have reported spending $5.02 million lobbying the federal government in the last three months, according to new federal reports.

Comcast Corporation, the largest mass media and communications companyreported spending $3,090,000 lobbying the federal government on all their issues during the first three months of 2014, a decrease from the $4,780,000 spent in the fourth quarter of 2013. During all of 2013, they spent $18,710,000 lobbying. Comcast is also the largest U.S. cable provider.

The Comcast Corporation & NBCUniversal PAC- Federal reported it gave out $295,000 to federal candidates during March. During January they gave out $165,500. During February they gave out $97,500. For 2013 and the first two months of 2014, the PAC gave out $1,693,500 – with Democrats receiving 52%. View financial profile.

Full story

War Chest of House Democrats Grows to $40 Million

The two House Congressional campaign committees added to their war chests during March, with the Democrats topping $40 million.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported it had receipts of $10,340,790 and disbursements of $4,511,496 during March, leaving $40,239,885 cash on hand on March 31st.

The Committee raised $3.8 million from contributors giving $200 or less, and $3.7 million from those giving more than $200. The committee received $2.5 million from PACs and other committees, and $187,800 from joint fundraising committees. Indian tribes gave $249,700. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., gave $32,400.

Full story

Chamber of Commerce Spends $19 Million on Lobbying in Q1 (Updated)

The Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. reported it spent almost $19 million on lobbying the federal government during the first quarter of the year.

The Chamber reported spending $18,960,000 in the first three months of the year, an increase from the $16,490,000 spent in the fourth quarter of 2013, when they were the organization that spent the most on lobbying.

The Chamber’s extensive report discloses a broad range of issues and legislation they are concerned about. The report itemizes the general issues, and details the specific lobbying issues and bills on which they lobby. Individual lobbyists are also identified.

Updated pm 4/21: An affiliated entity, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform reported it spent $6,240,000 during the first quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2013 they reported spending $5,810,000.

The first quarter reports are due on April 21st. Other selected filings received include Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 12:34 p.m.
Corporations, Lobbying

National Party Committees Raise Equal Amounts in March

Both the national party committees reported raising $10 million during March, but the Democrats are still $14 million in debt.

The DNC Services Corp./Democratic National Committee reported receipts of $10,326,226 and disbursements of $7,496,555 during March, leaving $9,793,524 cash on hand as of March 31st, and debts outstanding of $14,125,405.

The committee raised $5 million in small contributions of $200 or less, and raised $5 million from donors giving more than $200. Forty-eight donors gave the maximum, $32,400. They raised $190,909 from PACs and other committees.

The committee spent $1.6 million on direct mail; $478,416 on salaries; $418,415 on data services; among other expenses. The committee repaid $1,875,000 on an outstanding loan. The committee gave $296,795 to affiliate committees.

The Republican National Committee reported receipts of $10,196,155 and disbursements of $7,902,462, leaving $12,318,951 cash on hand as of March 31st, and no debts.

Full story

Republican Super PAC Raises Over $5 Million From Big Donors

A Republican Super PAC has raised $5.2 million in the first quarter of the year from 24 donors.

American Crossroads, a Republican-oriented Super PAC, reported it had receipts of $5,238,249 and disbursements of $613,597 during the first quarter. Twenty-four donors contributed a total of $5,237,500.

The Major donor was Andrew J. Perenchio, (Chartwell Partners LLC, CA), who gave $2 million. Three donors gave $500,000 each, including B. Wayne Hughes Sr. (chairman of Spendthrift Farm, KY), JWC III Revocable Trust of Joseph W. Craft III(OK), and Warren Stephens (chairman and president of Stephens Inc, AR). Two donors gave $250,000, including Kenneth Griffin (CEO, Citadel Investment Group, IL) and Paul Singer (founder and CEO of Elliott Management Group, NY).

Full story

Obama’s Advocacy Group Has Million-Dollar Donor

President Obama’s advocacy group is continuing to receive donations of several hundred thousands of dollars, including one of $500,000 in the first quarter, which brings the donor’s aggregate contribution total to $1 million since the group was founded.

David Shaw, founder of hedge fund D.E. Shaw, contributed $500,000 in the first quarter of 2014, and $500,000 in the second quarter of 2013.

Organizing for Action, a non-profit tax-exempt organization, released a few copies of a quarterly list of donors last week, but the organization does not post an aggregate donor name or amount list on their website. The limited disclosure is still more than the lack of any disclosure by other 501c3 and 501c4 non-profits that are active in similar hot policy issues such as health care, immigration, and firearms.

A top donor list is included in the article, “‘Grass-Roots’ OFA Snags First Million-Dollar Donor,” by Eliza Newlin Carney, of CQ Roll Call.

April 18, 2014

Labor Union Political Committees Contribute Heavily in March

The political committees of several national labor organizations moved large amounts of political contributions to federal candidates and committees during March, according to early reports.

The American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education reported contributing $898,000 to federal candidates and committees. This included $250,000 to the Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC, and $100,000 to the House Majority PAC, another super PAC. They also made a non-federal contribution of $300,000 to the Democratic Governors Association.

The Carpenters Legislative Improvement Committee, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners reported contributing $336,000 in March.

D.R.I.V.E., the PAC of the International Brotherhood of Teamstersreported it gave $269,000 to federal candidates and committees. In non-federal contributions, they gave $200,000 to the Democratic Governors Association, and $200,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

In other early filings for March,  Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 2:17 p.m.
Corporations, Donors, PACs

UPS, FedEx Spend Over $3 million on Lobbying in 2014 Q1

Two of the largest courier and shipping services have reported spending more than $3 million on lobbying the federal government during the first quarter.

Both companies reported spending more than a million a month on lobbying legislation and regulations dealing with fuel taxes, trade, pensions, Department of Defense appropriations, security, healthcare, pharmaceutical distribution, and postal reform.

The United Parcel Service company reported spending $3,044,992 during the first quarter, up from reporting $1,561,4140 during the fourth quarter of 2013. During the quarter the company also lobbied on the minimum wage issue. During 2013, the company reported spending $5.6 million. A company spokesperson stated there were no new projects or programs in the first quarter, but there were accounting changes and once a year compensation calculations. View multi-year spending chart.

The FedEx Corporation reported spending $3,271,984 during the first quarter, up slightly from the $3,165,090 reported for the fourth quarter of 2013. FedEx also lobbied on the immigration issue in the first quarter. During 2013, the company spent $12,200,912. View multi-year spending chart.

Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 12:54 p.m.
Corporations, Lobbying

Donor Pleads Guilty to Giving $180,000 in Contributions Through Others

A New York hotel magnate pleaded guilty Thursday to making $180,000 in contributions through straw donors to three federal campaigns.

Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act by giving in the names of others, and for witness tampering. He agreed to forfeit $1 million.

From 2007 to 2011, Chatwal, founder of Hampshire Hotels Management LLC, and founder of the Bombay Palace restaurant, operated several businesses, including restaurants, hotels and a hotel management company. He used his employees, business associates, and contractors who performed work for Chatwall Associates, to solicit contributions on Chatwal’s behalf in support of various candidates and PACs, collect these contributions, and pay reimbursements on these contributions.

Full story

April 17, 2014

Orthopaedic Surgeons Work On Congress

While it was pushing for a “doc fix” to delay cuts in Medicare payments to physicians, the PAC of orthopaedic surgeons contributed over $360,000 to Congressional candidates, leadership PACs, and party committees during the first quarter of the year.

The PAC of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons contributed $361,650 to federal candidates during the first quarter. Orthopaedic surgeons deal with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. The surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

The PAC reported receipts of $495,670 and disbursements of $368,386 during the first quarter of the year, leaving $1,104,723 cash on hand as of March 31st.

In 2013, the PAC raised $1.7 million and contributed $1.2 million, with 60% going to Republicans. In 2011-2012, the last full election cycle, the PAC had raised $2.8 million and contributed $2.6 million, with 71% going to Republicans. View their PAC financial profile.

Full story

By Kent Cooper Posted at 12:41 p.m.
Donors, PACs

April 16, 2014

Most Efficient Fundraising: Debbie Dingell Spends $12K, Raises $529K

The award for most efficient fundraising this year will probably go to House candidate Debbie Dingell, who in 32 days spent less than $12,000 and raised over a half million dollars.

Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., is running in Michigan’s 12th congressional district to succeed her husband, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who is retiring. Rep. Dingell has served in Congress since December 1955.

The Debbie Dingell in Congress committee reported receipts of $529,807 and disbursements of $11,543 from February 28th through March 31st., leaving $518,263 cash on hand as of March 31st.

Of the $421,698 from individual contributions, all but $23,781 was raised from contributions of $200 or more. Itemized donors showed $186,838 came from Michigan, and $176,479 came from DC/MD/VA.

The donors are a mix of Washington and Michigan social and political players, including Full story

Online Advertising Helps Hillary Clinton Super PAC Raise $5.7 Million

A Super PAC encouraging a presidential run by Hillary Clinton has spent over $1.5 million for online advertising during the last 15 months and raised over $5.7 million.

Ready For Hillary, a Super PAC, reported receipts of $1,705,580 and disbursements of $1,597,306 during the first quarter of 2014, leaving $857,243 cash on hand as of March 31st. During the quarter, the committee spent $375,147 on online advertising; $227,796 on direct mail production, and $209,127 on payroll.

The PAC raised $813,162 from donors giving $200 or less, and $872,100 from 933 contributions of more than $200. Of the itemized large contributions, most came from New York, California, and Pennsylvania. The occupations of ‘attorney’ and ‘retired’ were listed most often.

Major donors in the quarter included Full story

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