2009 Lobbying of Members of Congress: $3,470,000,000 (That’s Three Billion.)

The Center for Responsive Politics reports corporations and other interest groups spent a total of $3.47 billion to lobby members of Congress. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce led the top ten lobbying clients, spending approximately $144 million. Number two was Exon-Mobil, at $27.4 million. Analysis by OpenSecrets.org here.

The general business sector, which encompasses an array of industries from retail sales to manufacturing to business associations, experienced a nearly 19 percent increase in its 2008-to-2009 lobbying expenditures. The more than $558 million spent by the general business sector in 2009 is a record for any of the 13 broad sectors that the Center tracks.

It is followed closely in 2009 by the health sector, which includes a variety of health-related industries. In 2009, this sector spent nearly $544 million on federal lobbying efforts, up almost 12 percent from its 2008 total of about $487 million.

Money in politics. And what did it get us in 2009? Hmmm. Consider supporting Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act on the June ballot. Learn more this Sunday at a passion raiser starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Main branch of the City Library. Do something now toward achieving elections money can’t buy. LLII.

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