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Corporations, entire industries and other special interest groups spent a record $2.14 billion on lobbying members of Congress and 220 other federal agencies last year, according to Political MoneyLine, a nonpartisan research service that tracks campaign contributions. That figure represents a 7 percent increase over 2003 and an astonishing 34 percent jump from the amount of money spent on lobbying in 2001.
We must take action to return Congress to the business of the American citizenry, not the business of the corporate supremacists.
Originally posted by marg6043
Big money making in lobbying, but who is lobbying for the American People?
Originally posted by Nygdan
Are they looking for one? Cause I'll take that job. A big interest group like that probably has lots of cash reserves. What are they paying?
While the Republican Party is, for the most part, the Big Business party of choice, multinationals pour huge sums into both Republican and Democratic coffers. In the 2004 election cycle, for example, Goldman Sachs made $5.6 million in political donations, 58 percent to Democrats; Microsoft made over $3 million in contributions, 60 percent of which went to Dems; SBC contributed more than $2.6 million, nearly two thirds of which went to Republicans; Pfizer donated nearly $1.6 million, almost 70 percent of which went to the GOP; Lockheed Martin spent $1.73 million in contributions, directing 59 percent to Republicans; and ExxonMobil donated $800,000, 89 percent of which went to Republicans.
In 2004, business contributions to federal candidates, from individual donors and through political action committees, outdistanced labor contributions by a 15-to-1 ratio. (Soft money was banned by the very modest campaign finance reform legislation of 2001.)
The pharmaceutical and health products industry has spent more than $800 million in federal lobbying and campaign donations at the federal and state levels in the past seven years, a Center for Public Integrity investigation has found. Its lobbying operation, on which it reports spending more than $675 million, is the biggest in the nation.
They have also fended off measures aimed at containing prices, like allowing importation of medicines from countries that cap prescription drug prices, which would have dented their profit margins. Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, made a profit of $11.3 billion last year, out of sales of $51 billion.
The industry's multi-faceted influence campaign has also led to a more industry-friendly regulatory policy at the Food and Drug Administration, the agency that approves its products for sale and most directly oversees drug makers.
In 2004 they increased their expenditure to on lobbyists to $123 million, a record amount for the industry. Of the 1,291 lobbyists who were listed that year as prepresenting pharmaceutical corporations and their trade groups, some 52 percent were former federal officials.
"It really hit home when I was writing out that check," Webber said. "Political fundraising in this town has gotten out of control."
"Members of Congress are trapped. They have to continue to raise money if they're going to survive, and I sympathize with them," Webber added. "But I've seen a lot of people -- very good people -- leave Congress because they're tired of fundraising. This thing has gotten away from us."
Originally posted by marg6043
Ok, Administration what is going on with SUBLIMINAR MESSAGES
You are starting to scare me now.
Almost 74 percent of state legislators in office this year are seeking reelection on Nov. 2, according to an anlysis of candidate lists by the Center for Public Integrity. Researchers identified 4,787 incumbent legislators in the 44 states holding legislative elections next week. View each state's list of incumbent legislators and search the outside interest database on the Center's "Our Private Legislatures"
Originally posted by soficrow
Seems like the only solution is to change the way elections work; restrict contributions; cap campaign costs ...?????