Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Posts in "Lobbying"

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.

Top Ranking of Organizations Lobbying the Government

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.

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

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

April 18, 2014

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

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

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