Lobbyausgaben auf Rekordhöhe in den USA

--- Die LA Times hat mal zusammengerechnet, welche neuen Rekordsummen in den USA für Lobbying in 2004 ausgegeben wurden: Special interests spent $1.1 billion during the first half of 2004 on lobbyists and advertising campaigns, according to public records that interest groups are required to file with the Senate. Topping the list of spenders were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Medical Assn., which spent a combined $39 million during the six-month period to appeal for medical liability limits, according to politicalmoneyline.com. The independent group tracks spending on political campaigns and lobbying. Reports tallying lobbyist expenditures for the rest of the year are due in February — and industry insiders expect the yearly total to exceed last year's record of roughly $2 billion. ... "The overall issue of lawsuit abuses and bringing a stop to them will mean that the lobbying frenzy will be even more intense in 2005," Moore added. So far in 2004, businesses and interest groups are paying their lobbyists at a record pace. This was the first year in which spending during the first six months topped $1 billion; businesses and interest groups spent about $963 million during the same period in 2003. And the new figures demonstrate how the cash flow to lobbying firms on Washington's K Street is accelerating — up from an average of $128 million a month during the first half of 2000, the last year of the Clinton administration, to the 2004 monthly average of $176 million. "Businesses and other interests sense an opportunity, and they are going to be spending a tremendous amount of money to ensure that they get their way," said Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that monitors lobbying practices. "No one should doubt that they're spending this money for their own special interests and not the public interest." Other big spenders on lobbying during the first half of 2004 included General Electric Co., which spent $8.44 million on various issues, such as Iraq contracts and broadcast policies, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which spent about $8 million on legislation affecting Medicare, drug issues and other healthcare matters. Erschreckend, wie hier "öffentliche" Meinung gemacht wird.

Update: Welche Abgeordneten in Deutschland auf wessen Gehaltsliste stehen: ein paar Namen und Zahlen dazu heute in der Berliner Morgenpost.

Update 2: "Bild" und "Welt" legen noch einmal nach: "Bis zu 100 Politiker auf VW-Gehaltsliste?" und thematisieren die "Raffke-Mentalität mancher Abgeordneter.

Update 3: Einen gesonderten Blick auf die IT-Branche und Lobbying wirft heise online. Mehr dazu auch bei der Organisation Political Money Line, welche die ganzen Zahlen zusammengestellt hat.