It is amazing that we have to have 40,000 registered lobbyists at the state and federal levels, nearly 15,000 of which are federal lobbyists. A lobbyist is an activist who seeks to persuade members of the government to enact legislation that would benefit their group. Lobbyists represent just about every American institution and interest group – labor unions, corporations, colleges and universities, churches, charities, environmental groups, senior citizens organizations, and even state, local and foreign governments.The lobbying profession is a legitimate and integral part of our democratic process that is not very well understood by the general public.
The top ten industries and the amount of money spent for 2009 were: pharmaceuticals/health products – $199 million; insurance – $122 million; oil & gas – $121 million; electric utilities – $108 million; business associations – $93 million; computers/internet – $89 million; miscellaneous manufacturing and distribution – $84 million; TV/movies/music – $78 million; hospitals/nursing homes – $77 million, and education $74 million.
Jeepers, my question is, with all of this money that is spent, where does this “chump” change go – since ?
The general gift rule provision states that a Member of Congress or their staff may not accept a gift from a registered lobbyist or any organization that employs lobbyists. The term gift covers any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having monetary value. Oh – really? Didn’t our leader make a campaign promise that he was going to rid the country of lobbyists?