Lobbyists bankrolling politics

Bush gets nearly four times as much as Kerry

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 Updated:

More than 1,300 registered lobbyists have given slightly more than $1.8 million to President George W. Bush over the last six years, according to a Center for Public Integrity study comparing the donations of all registered lobbyists from 1998 through March 2004. Sen. John Kerry received $520,000 from 442 lobbyists during the same period.

Such numbers account for a significant percentage of those who ply the influence game. In fact, the lobbyists who donated to Bush have represented about 6,000 clients; those who gave to Kerry, approximately 3,000 clients. Combined, these figures add up to more than half of all the companies that hire lobbyists, according to the Senate Office of Public Records. The SOPR says that there are currently 24,000 lobbyists registered to represent 15,000 clients.

The Center's study is the first of its kind to precisely track donations to presidential candidates from all federally registered lobbyists. Until now, campaign finance analysts used industry coding, a method that has included thousands of dollars from individuals not registered to lobby, while omitting donations from thousands of lobbyists hired outside of traditional lobby shops.

Several of the lobbyists donating to Bush also raise funds for the president. The campaign Web site's directory of volunteer fundraisers lists more than 550 so-called bundlers: Mavericks, who raise $50,000, Pioneers, who raise $100,000 and Rangers, who raise $200,000.

Of these, the Center found, 52 lobbyists—who have together raised more than $6 million for Bush's reelection—represent more than 800 organizations and companies. Since Bush's election as president, their firms have reported billing these clients $146 million for lobbying.

The Center also found that the Bush administration appointed 92 lobbyists to its transitions advisory teams between 2000 and 2001, according to its study of lobbying records and lists of transition teams made available by OMB Watch. These transition teams gave lobbyists a strong voice in affecting regulatory decisions; many were assigned to the very branches of government that they had been paid millions of dollars to influence. Nor did their work as lobbyists suffer from their stint in the transition committees: since then, these lobbyists' firms have reported billing their clients more than $250 million for lobbying.

While there is a disparity between the sums of money given to each candidate, some of the lobbyists giving to Kerry and Bush worked for the same firm. For instance, both Patton Boggs LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP are among Bush's and Kerry's top four donors from individual lobbyists. Similarly, another 21 lobbyists gave money to both candidates. A trend has emerged where the lobbyists giving are often connected to the largest contributors to these presidential candidates. In fact, each of Bush's top ten career patrons were represented by at least one lobbyist who donated to the president's campaign, as were nine of Kerry's top ten career patrons.

Bush Lobbyists

Among the many lobbyists giving money to Bush is Jack Abramoff, a former lobbyist for Greenberg Traurig. According to the firm, Abramoff left Greenberg Traurig after he "disclosed to the firm for the first time personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm" in connection with his representation of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Abramoff, who is closely associated with House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, is a Bush Pioneer who also has lobbied on behalf of companies like Tyco for government contracts and tax legislation.

Other lobbyists who have donated to Bush have enjoyed the perks of political appointments that have included transition teams, positions with federal agencies and ambassadorships. Former Pioneer and lobbyist Peter Terpeluk was appointed as ambassador to Luxembourg in 2002.

But the measure of success for a lobbyist is whether he or she is able to influence legislation. Take Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP lobbyist and former Bush Pioneer John Schmitz, who represents Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a health care electronic prescription company called RxHub. RxHub paid $1.3 million for the services of Schmitz and three associates. During a two-year period, they lobbied for RxHub on only one listed bill: the recently passed Medicare Prescription Drug bill.

Related Charts

On March 4, 2003, RxHub got a break when Bush announced support for a proposal to make medical records and prescriptions available electronically. At an American Medical Association meeting, the president announced his initiative to increase funding to "help hospitals use information technology" by 53 percent. This provision became a core part of the only bill that RxHub lobbied and had a part that critics said was "tailor made to support" RxHub. The bill signed into law by Bush in December ended up including huge authorizations in favor of the company's area of expertise at a time when the Bush administration is asking others for fiscal restraint.

Kerry Lobbyists

The Kerry campaign also has its share of lobbyists who are acting as fundraisers. Piper Rudnick LLP's John Merrigan, for example, has given the senator thousands of dollars while lobbying on behalf of Merrill Lynch, Northwest Airlines and Raytheon Co.

In an unprecedented move last week, Kerry voluntarily released a list of some 300 lobbyists whom the senator has met with in the last 15 years. The move was intended to put pressure on the Bush campaign to release a similar list and to make public information about those who worked on the administration's controversial task forces.

A study of these documents by the Center found that 27 of those whom the Senator met with made donations totaling more than a $100,000 to Kerry's campaigns over the years. The campaign lists four of them as major fundraisers.

Other lobbyists who have been especially close to the senator include David Leiter, his chief of staff for six years. Leiter is a long-time beneficiary of Washington's loose "revolving door" policy, who years after his Senate position became a lobbyist for Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, where Kerry's brother works. While contributing to Kerry, Leiter lobbied for a number of companies, including Cablevision, AT&T, and Clear Channel, that fell under the senator's purview as a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Also representing AT&T is Michael Whouley, a top lobbyist-turned-Kerry-political consultant. As the Center reported on May 7, 2003, Kerry has co-sponsored legislation favored by and written letters on behalf of the wireless telecommunications industry.

Agustín Armendariz, Alexander Cohen and Daniel Lathrop contributed to this report.

Registered Lobbyists Appointed to Bush's Transition Teams and Their Activity

TeamFNameMILNameAffiliationLobbying Expenditures
InteriorJason CampbellPublic Lands Council27,113,226
LaborRandelKJohnsonChamber Of Commerce Of The U.S.A.22,840,000
TreasuryGaryJGasperErnst & Young20,400,000
CommerceBarneyJSkladanyAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld19,004,000
HUDArne ChristensonFannie Mae17,447,000
USTRWilliamJMorleyChamber Of Commerce Of The U.S.A.14,900,000
HHSDoug BadgerWashington Council Ernst & Young13,000,000
HHSCarl FeldbaumBiotechnology Industry Organization11,306,000
TransportationCarl BiersackBarbour Griffith & Rogers9,200,000
TreasurySusan MolinariWashington Group9,027,000
HHSVickiEHartVerner Liipfert Bernhard Mcpherson & Hand8,990,000
USTRFrank VargoNational Association Of Manufacturers8,802,220
CommerceJerryJJasinowskiNational Association Of Manufacturers8,802,220
CommerceRay ColeVan Scoyoc Associates7,210,000
HHSMark IsakowitzFierce & Isakowitz6,900,000
USTRDeborahALambDistilled Spirits Council Of The U.S.6,694,386
TransportationWalterBMccormickAmerican Trucking Association, Bryan Cave6,260,000
TransportationSusanHLentAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld6,100,000
TransportationEugene PatroneKessler & Associates Business Services, Washington Group5,627,000
CommerceJack FarisNational FederationOf Independent Business5,188,370
TreasuryJeffATasseyWilliams & Jensen4,840,000
HUDAnne CanfieldCanfield & Associates4,325,000
HHSHoward CohenGreenberg Traurig4,140,000
HHSDan BostonFederation Of American Hospitals4,000,000
InteriorWilliamPJarrellBoeing Co, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds3,860,000
TreasuryLes BrorsenErnst & Young3,443,860
EnergyDonRDuncanConocophillips3,387,712
HHSLindaETarplinOb-C Group LLC3,360,000
LaborBobbyJJacksonNational Mining Association3,040,000
USTRAndrew ShoyerPowell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy2,340,000
TransportationDuncanCSmithDyer Ellis & Joseph2,340,000
EnergyGaryGEllsworthUsec Inc2,320,000
InteriorCy JamisonJamison & Sullivan1,910,000
InteriorWilliamPHornBirch Horton Bittner & Cherot1,902,000
CommerceDavidAMetznerAmerican Continental Group1,750,000
JusticeJerris LeonardHopkins & Sutter1,590,000
InteriorMarc RacicotBracewell & Patterson1,511,000
EnergyJohnCTuckBaker Donelson Bearman & Caldwell1,480,000
EnergyAlex FlintJohnston & Associates1,475,000
AgricultureJohnRBlockInternational Foodservice Distributors Association1,400,025
CommerceDirk Van DongenNational Association Of Wholesaler-Distributors1,333,789
EnergyGregg RenkesRenkes Group1,100,000
TreasuryAlanMKranowitzNational Association Of Wholesaler-Distributors892,054
AgricultureTim HammondsFood Marketing Inst880,000
FCCRichardEWileyWiley Rein & Fielding870,000
TreasuryDan RenbergArent Fox, Ghl Inc, Renberg Strategies700,000
TreasuryDanielMPricePowell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy700,000
USTRDanielMPricePowell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy700,000
CommerceCynthia SandherrEnron Corp680,000
USTRRon SoriniSandler Travis & Rosenberg670,000
TransportationMichaelEKorensSunrise Research Corp520,000
JusticeJosephEDigenovaDigenova & Toensing520,000
AgricultureClayton YeutterHogan & Hartson460,000
JusticeMonty TrippHill & Knowlton, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates460,000
TransportationBecky WeberPeyser Associates452,000
USTRKevin BroschDtb Associates LLP450,000
InteriorWilliam JarrellBoeing Co, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds440,000
JusticeBarbara OlsonBalch & Bingham400,000
TransportationWilliamTColemanO'Melveny & Myers370,000
AgricultureMary ColvilleNational Chicken Council360,000
EnergyHoward BakerBaker Donelson Bearman & Caldwell360,000
InteriorGaryJTaylorInternational Association Of Fish & Wildlife Agencies345,000
USTRKevinMDempseyDewey Ballantine340,000
AgricultureBarryDSackinAmerican School Food Service Association340,000
USTRGaryNHorlickO'Melveny & Myers300,000
TransportationFrankKTurnerAmerican Short Line & Regional Railroad Association280,000
JusticeVictoria ToensingDigenova & Toensing260,000
JusticeRobertAMcconnellHawthorne & York International260,000
VeteransRobertWSpanogleAmerican Legion240,000
EnergyMichaelJFlanniganKennecott Services Co240,000
LaborGary VisscherAmerican Iron & Steel Inst205,000
FCCBrucePMehlmanCisco Systems200,000
EPADale MooreNational Cattlemens Beef Association200,000
AgricultureJack EberspacherNational Association Of Wheat Growers160,000
TreasuryJosephLSeidelWilliams & Jensen140,000
TransportationDavid Girard-DicarloBlank Rome Government Relations LLC140,000
VeteransDavidEWoodburyAmvets National Headquarters140,000
EnergyDavidNParkerAmerican Gas Association120,000
TransportationDiane SteedCoalition For Vehicle Choice120,000
CommerceLarry PresslerO'Connor & Hannan, Pressler Group, Alcalde & Fay120,000
InteriorMalcolm WallopWestern Strategy Group120,000
USTRSamMGibbonsGibbons & Co120,000
USTRMarkSMcconnellHogan & Hartson90,000
JusticeJohn RobertsHogan & Hartson80,000
JusticeGeorgeJTerwilligerWhite & Case80,000
InteriorSteve GrilesNational Environmental Strategies60,000
JusticeThomas PattenLatham & Watkins40,000
HHSSusan McNallyNational Association Of Community Health CentersN/A
CommercePaul JohnsonFleishman-Hillard Government RelationsN/A
TransportationRandi HutchinsonDickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky, LLPN/A
JusticeJose FuentesMorgan MeguireN/A
AgricultureChandler KeysPublic Lands CouncilN/A

Registered Lobbyists who are Bush Mavericks, Pioneers & Rangers and Their Activity

M-P-RFNameMILNameAffiliateLobby Expenditures
PioneerJackAAbramoffGreenberg Traurig 26,200,000
PioneerJohn KellyMicrosoft Corp23,560,000
PioneerThomasRKuhnEdison Electric Institute18,053,000
PioneerBill PaxonAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld14,420,000
PioneerJackNGerardNational Mining Association12,000,000
PioneerCharlesNKahnFederation Of American Hospitals8,080,000
RangerRay ColeVan Scoyoc Associates7,210,000
PioneerMary Kate JohnsonCassidy & Associates5,830,000
PioneerRonald KaufmanDutko Group5,402,550
PioneerKirk BlalockFierce & Isakowitz3,680,000
PioneerJudy BlackEvans Capitol Group 3,470,000
PioneerLes BrorsenErnst & Young3,443,860
MaverickThomas WorrallRhoads-Weber Shandwick Government Relations2,660,000
PioneerDavid PringleAflac2,048,000
PioneerTillieKFowlerHolland & Knight2,020,000
PioneerDavidAMetznerAmerican Continental Group1,750,000
PioneerAndrea Fischer NewmanNorthwest Airlines, Inc.1,404,000
RangerDirk Van DongenNational Association Of Wholesaler-Distributors1,333,789
RangerRichardFHohltHohlt, Richard F.1,303,150
RangerBarclayTReslerCoca-Cola Co1,280,000
PioneerKevinPMcMahonTRW952,000
PioneerJeffrey BallabonChannel One Network 910,000
PioneerCharlesLGrizzleGrizzle Co770,000
RangerKeith WeikelHCR-Manor Care760,000
RangerWayneLBermanBerman Enterprises750,000
PioneerMarkAHolmanBlank Rome LLP700,000
PioneerDavidKRehrNational Beer Wholesalers Association672,000
PioneerEdwardDKratovilUST640,000
PioneerPaul WeldayStrategic Federal Affairs402,000
PioneerAlfonse D'AmatoPark Strategies, LLC400,000
RangerRobertTGrandBarnes & Thornburg280,000
PioneerKentRHanceHance Scarborough Wright270,000
RangerThomas LoefflerArter & Hadden 240,000
PioneerJohnMTippsWalker Bryant Tipps & Malone225,000
RangerLanny GriffithPolicy Impact Strategic Communications220,000
PioneerAlberto CardenasTew Cardenas LLP160,000
PioneerJohn EtchartGallatin Group155,000
RangerDavid Girard-DicarloBlank Rome Government Relations LLC140,000
RangerRobert LeebernTroutman Sanders Public Affairs Group140,000
PioneerThomasPMarinisVinson & Elkins140,000
RangerWilliam KilbergGibson Dunn & Crutcher100,000
PioneerMichael GovanLegacy Group80,000
PioneerMolly BordonaroGallatin Group65,000
PioneerAnnie PresleyMckellar Group34,500
PioneerCharles BlackBKSH & Associates20,000
PioneerJohnEThrasherSouthern Strategy Group20,000
PioneerCarl BuchholzBlank Rome Government Relations LLCN/A
RangerMichael HightowerBlue Cross & Blue Shield Of FloridaN/A
PioneerJames LangdonAkin Gump Strauss Hauer & FeldN/A
RangerStephen PaynePayne, StephenN/A
PioneerTimothy PowersArtemis StrategiesN/A
PioneerJ Warren TompkinsBKSH & AssociatesN/A

Lobbyists who met with Kerry and Their Contributions

First NameLast NameLobbying RegistrantDonations to Kerry
HectorAlcaldeAlcalde & Fay1,750
WrightAndrewsButera & Andrews2,000
CharlesBakerDewey Square Group3,940
RichardBatesDisney Worldwide Services1,500
NormanBrownsteinBrownstein Hyatt & Farber6,000
JackFergusonFerguson Assoc, Jack4,000
BarryGottehrerGottehrer & Co1,500
LloydHandVerner Liipfert Bernhard Mcpherson & Hand5,750
LesterHymanSwidler Berlin Shereff Friedman8,250
HaroldIckesIckes & Enright Group Inc1,000
DennisKaninFoley Hoag & Eliot7,000
MichaelKempnerMWW Group4,000
PaulMatteraLiberty Mutual Insurance Co4,500
JohnMerriganPiper Rudnick16,250
GeorgeMitchellVerner Liipfert Bernhard Mcpherson & Hand1,000
CharlesMoneypennyTransport Workers Union Of America3,500
RalphNurnbergerPreston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds1,500
GeorgeOlsenWilliams & Jensen3,500
JonathanOrloffCassidy & Associates2,250
WaynePacelleHumane Society Of The U.S.250
JohnPodestaCenter For American Progress1,500
PaulQuinnWilkinson Barker & Knauer3,000
JohnRaffaelliWashington Group4,000
AnnRichardsVerner Liipfert Bernhard Mcpherson & Hand1,000
RobertSachsNatl Cable & Telecommunications Assn5,375
IvanSchlagerSkadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom5,000
RileyTempleHalprin Temple2,450
  Total101,765
The employers of most of the lobbyists Kerry listed meeting with were not included in his voluntary disclosure. Therefore, the Center was only able to verify the individuals as donors above.

 

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