Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Al Jazeera America Lobbying Led by Former Member of Congress

Former Rep. Michael Castle

Former Rep. Michael Castle

A news organization that has just started broadcasting knows it must have a lobbying presence in Washington to be a serious player in the communications industry. Having a former member of Congress be your lobbyist helps.

DLA Piper LLP registered to lobby for Al Jazeera America Holdings I Inc., effective Jan. 2, 2013. Al Jazeera America Holdings is owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network and the State of Qatar. DLA Piper was hired to lobby on “Informational communications regarding client’s cable television channel.” Former Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., is one of the lobbyists, along with Mark Paoletta, former chief counsel on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Also lobbying is Sanchez Ignacio, John Merrigan, Matthew Bernstein, Lawrence Purpuro, Melanie Garcia and Bruce Thompson.

During the first quarter of 2013, DLA Piper was paid $120,000. During the second quarter of 2013, DLA Piper was paid $100,000.

Other news organizations also lobby the executive and legislative branches. In many cases the news organizations are owned by larger communications and entertainment companies, which have a wide range of legislative and regulatory interests.

News-related companies and their 2013 second quarter lobbying expenditures include:

Comcast Corporation (including NBC) $5,470,000
Time Warner (including CNN) $1,970,000
News America Inc./News Corporation $1,395,000
Clear Channel Communications $1,350,000
Viacom $900,000
Cox Enterprises $860,000
CBS Corporation $820,000
Walt Disney Company (including ABC & ESPN)  $620,000
Univision $237,000
Liberty Media $230,000
Bloomberg LP $170,000
NPR $169,225
Thomson Reuters $100,000
Al Jazeera America Holdings I Inc $100,000
Hearst Corp. $70,000
Media General $33,130
Tribune Company $23,064
Scripps Network Interactive $10,000
A H Belo Corporation  (less than $5,000)
Gannett Company Inc. (less than $5,000)
Seattle Times (less than $5,000)
Morris Communications (less than $5,000)

To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.

  • Layla

    The numbers are obscene. Lobbying and campaign contributions need to be banned. They have perverted our system of government.

  • Cynthia Gurin

    Yes, the numbers ARE obscene. What’s more obscene is what passes for “news” on mainstream media. We’re being handed filtered information.

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I just upgraded my cable account in order to receive Al Jazeera because I am also sick to death of egotistical talking heads, whom I find to be particularly obnoxious when they shout, interrupt or talk over guests, ignoring even the most basic rules of polite discourse.

  • vernwalters

    Lobbyists from the big banks are deployed anywhere there is awareness of the power of the purse belonging to Wall Street and the big banks. Restoring the purse strings to our government requires HR 129 and S 985. Until then sovereignty is slim to zero. We, the people, does include news outlets so it makes sense that lobbyists are sent from all newspapers. Vectoring our info from all sectors seems to be the best basis of making informed decisions of voting.

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