Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

Posts in "Lobbying"

April 14, 2014

Chairman Goodlatte Receives $143,000 While Considering Legislation

While considering immigration legislation, and holding a March hearing on the Internet sales tax issue, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, received over $143,000 from Internet and high-tech company PACs, their executives and lobbyists.

Goodlatte’s joint fundraising committee, Goodlatte Victory Committee, reported it had receipts of $149,400 and disbursements of $148,768 from January 1 to March 31st., leaving $6,847 cash on hand. All but $6,000 of the receipts came in during the nineteen days after the chairman’s March 12th Internet sales tax hearing and a Silicon Valley fundraising event.

Chairman Goodlatte held the Silicon Valley fundraising event on March 19th. View the TechNet invitation and Roll Call’s article, “Goodlatte to Fundraise in Silicon Valley as Tech Community Pushes Immigration Fix.Full story

April 6, 2014

Former Rep. Mark Foley Still Holding $1.26 Million Account

A former Congressman who resigned from Congress in 2006 is still holding onto $1.26 million in his campaign account.

Former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., served in Congress from 1995 to 2006. He resigned in September 2006 under pressure from the Republican leadership after allegations were made about the Congressman sending sexually suggestive emails and instant messages to underage males who were, or had been, Congressional pages.

Foley’s campaign committee, Friends of Mark Foley for Congress, reported it had $1,266,591 cash on hand as of March 31st. During the first quarter of 2014, the committee paid the I.R.S. $27,716 and the Florida Dept. of Revenue $3,493 for taxes. In 2013, the committee had receipts of $116,504, primarily from income from Fidelity Investments.

Foley has been helping Mark Lerner, principal owner of the Washington Nationals, Full story

March 28, 2014

2016 Republican Presidential Hopefuls Press the Flesh in Las Vegas

Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates are trooping to Las Vegas this weekend to attend the Spring Leadership Conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition. But it’s not the golf or poker tournaments they are focused on.

Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich are among those going to meet and shake hands with Republican super donor and board member Sheldon Adelson and others who are active in the Republican lobbying group and also major donors to Republican organizations, such as Super PACs, party committees and non-profit organizations. View board members.

The coalition has a federal political action committee, the Republican Jewish Coalition PAC,  that generally gives out about $150,000 per election cycle. View financial profile. So far this cycle, they have given $10,000 to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; $5,000 to Rep. William Cassidy, R-La.; $5,000 to en. John Cornyn, R-Texas; $2,500 to U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez, R-Mass; and $1,000 to Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis.

Their donors this cycle include Full story

March 26, 2014

Would Sheldon Adelson Underwrite the 2016 Republican Convention?

It’s a good bet that Las Vegas Sands Corporation owner Sheldon Adelson would do a lot to get the 2016 Republican convention to come to Las Vegas. The question is how high will the stakes go.

Peter Overby’s NPR article, “Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer Funded Political Convention,” highlights the recently passed bill that will prohibit $18+ million in public funds from being used for each of the 2016 the national party conventions. President Obama is expected to sign the bill.

Political MoneyLine’s earlier posting, “Corporations Can Expect To Pay More For Conventions,” points to corporate contributions as the likely source of funds to replace the loss of federal funds.

Today is the deadline for groups supporting specific cities to submit bids to the Republican National Committee for the 2016 Republican convention. A Las Vegas Review-Journal article indicated that the Las Vegas Host Committee is submitting an updated bid to host the convention at the Las Vegas convention center. The convention hosts committee may need to raise $50 to $75 million to cover the expenses.

Full story

Journal Highlights Issues of Lobbying and Campaign Finance

Under the Influence? Probably, if you are involved with lobbying and campaign finance. A new election law journal highlights the current issues.

The March edition of The Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics and Policy, published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., provides eleven articles and perspectives on lobbying and campaign finance issues. They are available online for free for a short time.

Articles and perspectives include:
-The Anxiety of Influence: The Evolving Regulation of Lobbying.
-Money, Priorities, and Stalemate: How Lobbying Affects Public Policy.
-The Seven Deadly Virtues of Lobbyists: What Lawyer Lobbyists Really do.
-Business Lobbying as an Information Public Good: Can Tax Deductions for Lobbying Expenses Promote Transparency.
-Congressional Staff and the Revolving Door: The Impact of Regulatory Change.

March 21, 2014

Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Hires Blanche Lincoln

The top Republican contributor has hired a former Democratic Senator to lobby for his casino company.

The government consulting firm of former Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., the Lincoln Policy Group, has registered to lobby for the Las Vegas Sands Corp., whose business is described in the registration as an “Upscale, integrated resort and casino operations.”

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. In the 2011-2012 election cycle, Adelson and his spouse contributed $100 million to various Republican committees, including $96,280,000 to Super PACs and $3,800,000 to Section 527 organizations.

Full story

March 6, 2014

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Brings on Livingston Group

Murdoch7 052203 445x292 Rupert Murdochs News Corp. Brings on Livingston Group

Now that Rupert Murdoch has split off the entertainment properties to 21st Century Fox, the remaining News Corp publishing company has started to bring on board new lobbyists under the guidance of Toni Cook Bush.

The Livingston Group LLC, a government and public relations consulting firm, registered to lobby on behalf of News Corp. The firm will lobby on tax reform; sustainable growth rate transparency; data protection; student data accessibility, transparency and accountability; and Federal government acquisition databases.

Their lobbyists include Full story

February 22, 2014

Largest Lobbying Organization Spends $312K for U.S. Senate Leader

McConnell 006 052412 445x295 Largest Lobbying Organization Spends $312K for U.S. Senate Leader

The organization that spends the most on lobbying Congress and the federal government, has reported spending $312,000 on behalf of the Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate, far more than the $10,000 their PAC could give in campaign contributions.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported on Friday to the Federal Election Commission that it had spent $312,650 on February 19th on independent expenditures supporting the 2014 re-election campaign Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Full story

February 20, 2014

Hot Topics Bring Contributions to Capitol Hill

When issues become hot topics for legislation or oversight by members of Congress, campaign contributions tend to flow to Capitol Hill.

Early filings of January financial activity by companies and organizations with political action committees (PACs) show that American Crystal Sugar Company PAC and Comcast Corporation/NBCUniversal PAC-Federal were in the top group of contributors. Campaign finance reports are due to be filed by close of business Thursday.

The American Crystal Sugar Company PAC reported contributing $262,000 to federal candidates and committees during January, the largest monthly amount the PAC gave out this cycle. They had $705,894 left at the end of January. The Farm bill, which did not cut back sugar subsidies, passed the House in January, and the Senate on February 4th. The PAC had receipts of $1,375,155 so far this cycle. In 2013, the PAC gave out $1.3 million in contributions.

Comcast Corporation & NBCUniversal PAC-Federal reported contributing $165,500 to federal candidates and committees during January, leaving $937,550 cash on hand at the end of the month. In 2013, the PAC had receipts of $2,081,657 and gave out $1.4 million in contributions. The Time Warner Cable Inc. Federal PAC gave out $33,500 to federal candidates and committees during January, leaving $69,083 cash on hand at the end of January. The proposed $45 billion Comcast Time Warner Cable merger was announced in mid- February. The House and Senate Judiciary Committees will hold hearings on the matter.

Two accounting firms also moved significant amounts to Capitol Hill while Full story

TransCanada Pumps Ads Into Washington, D.C. Area

The company that is trying to win support for a major pipeline through several mid-western states has contracted with more ads to be seen by Washington, D.C. area policy makers.

The Federal Communications Commission made public on Wednesday two contracts filed by Washington, D.C. area television stations. The filings indicated TransCanada Corp. has contracted for $123,900 of television advertising between now and the beginning of May. The ads support the approval of the $5.4 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Full story

February 14, 2014

Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger Could Reduce DC Lobbying

The one big area where both the efforts of Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc.. overlap is in the Washington, D.C. area zip codes where they spend heavily on lobbying and political advertising.

Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said on Thursday that his company and Time Warner Cable do not operate in the same zip codes. But in the Washington, D.C. political arena, Comcast spent $18.7 million last year on lobbying and Time Warner Cable spent $8.3 million. This often included lobbying the same people on Capitol Hill and political advertising in magazines and newspapers that get wide circulation among the political elite and decision makers.

If approved, the merger could create a company that will look to reduce overlapping lobbying costs by selecting the lobbying firms that have the best connections to key members of Congress, and by reducing advertising to those avenues that have the best connections with Capitol hill staff and Washington policy thinkers. It may take a while to determine the best fit of all the players. And if the approval process for the $45 billion deal brings up serious issues, the combined firm may need all their players in the short-term.

Full story

February 10, 2014

Top Dollars Go To Health Care Lobbying

Although federal lobbying expenditures increased in the fourth quarter of 2013, it was not enough to make the full year total as high as 2012. The full year 2013 lobbying expenditures were $3.25 billion, down from $3.34 billion in 2012.

Lobbying in the Health Care sector remained the largest area of interest, while some industry sectors did show increases from the previous year. Companies and trade associations lobbying on the farm bill pushed the totals for the Agriculture sector higher, and those lobbying on Communication/Technology issues also increased.

The top lobbying sectors in CY2013 were:

Health Care $549 million, down from $555 million in 2012.
Finance/Insurance $415 million, down from $428 million.
Communication /Technology $381 million, up from $372 million.
Energy/Natural Resources $327 million, down from $353 million
Business- Retail/Services $250 million, down from $321 million.
Transportation $228 million, down from $239 million.
Manufacturing $150 million, down from $152 million.
Agriculture $148 million, up from $134 million.
Defense $132 million, down from $134 million.
Single Issue Groups $127 million, up from 99 million.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, lobbying expenditures increased to $826 million from $788 million the third quarter. An increase from the third to the fourth quarter is not unusual, due to high legislative activity in the first quarter, and again after the summer and Labor Day breaks.

Full story

January 23, 2014

Most of Top 25 Organizations Lobbying Spent More in 4th Quarter

kstreet001 050210 445x284 Most of Top 25 Organizations Lobbying Spent More in 4th Quarter

K Street, Washington, D.C.

Of the top 25 corporations and trade associations lobbying the federal government, twenty increased their spending in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The increase in spending by the biggest Washington lobbying organizations goes across industry categories and shows interest groups still are willing to make large expenditures to lobby Congress and the executive branch.

The top 25 organizations spent a total of $128,908,949 during the fourth quarter of 2013 – up from having spent $103,274,083 in the third quarter. It is not clear if this pattern will hold up for all organizations. Overall lobbying expenditures totals have been dropping in the previous three quarters. Overall totals show $839 million spent on lobbying in 2012 Q4, $835 million in 2013 Q1, $807 million spent in 2013 Q2, and $787 million spent in 2013 Q3.

2013 4th Quarter Top 25 organizations by amount spent on lobbying:

Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. $16,490,000 in the fourth quarter – up from $12,160,000 in the third quarter.
National Assn. of Realtors $12,620,000 – up from $8,240,000.
Northrop Grumman Corp. $7,340,000 – up from 3,800,000.
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. $6,600,000 – up from 4,440,000.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform $5,810,000 – up from $3,690,000.
Grocery Manufacturers Assn. $4,950,000 – down from $7,470,000.
CVS Caremark Corp. $4,908,939 – up from $2,209,926.
Comcast Corp. $4,780,000 – up from $3,980,000.
American Hospital Assn. $4,560,000 – up from 3,750,000.
American Medical Assn. $4,240,000 – down from $4,270,000.

January 22, 2014

Most Top Communication Groups Increase Lobbying

Those in the communications industry are constantly watching Congress for any possible changes in laws and regulations affecting their industry, and lobbyists pay more attention every quarter.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Assnreported it spent $6,600,000 during the fourth quarter, up from $4,440,000 spent in the third quarter. For all of 2013, they spent $19,870,000.

The association lobbies on issues, such as, communications, telecommunications, taxation, labor/antitrust, education, and energy.

Comcast Corp. spent $4,780,000 – up from $3,980,000.
The National Assn. of Broadcasters spent $3,800,000 – up from $3,260,000.
AT&T Services Inc. & Affiliates spent $3,635,000 – down from $4,300,000.
CTIA – The Wireless Assn. spent $3,570,000 – up from $ 3,130,000.
Verizon & Affiliates spent $3,460,000 – up from $3,040,000.
Full story

Internet Companies Continue to Grow Their Washington Presence

Internet companies are continuing to increase their presence in Washington, D.C and their budgets for lobbying Congress and the executive branch.

Google Inc. reported it spent $3,980,000 on lobbying during the fourth quarter, up from spending $3,370,000 in the third quarter. For all of 2013, Google Inc. spent $14,060,000 on lobbying.

Google Inc. lobbies on issues, such as, online advertising, copyright/patents, consumer protection issues & privacy, trade, homeland security, science/technology, immigration, small business, taxation, telecommunications, and others.

Other fourth quarter Internet company lobbying:

Facebook Inc. spent $1,480,000 – up slightly from $1,440,000.
Amazon spent $ 960,000 – up from $780,000.
Yahoo Inc. spent $720,000 – up from $630,000.
eBay Inc. spent $485,000 – down from $565,266.
Twitter Inc. spent $50,000 – up from $40,000.
Yelp Inc. spent $30,000 – its first report.

The Internet Association spent $400,000 – the same as last quarter.

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