Lobbying: Statistics and Trends, especially Defense

Center for Responsive Politics  OpenSecrets.org

Editor’s Note: A good website to know about.  A lot of data on lobbying available.  

Lobbying Database  

In addition to campaign contributions to elected officials and candidates, companies, labor unions, and other organizations spend billions of dollars each year to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Some special interests retain lobbying firms, many of them located along Washington’s legendary K Street; others have lobbyists working in-house. We’ve got totals spent on lobbying, beginning in 1998, for everyone from AAI Corp. to Zurich Financial.

Total Lobbying Spending
1998 $1,455,024,561 $1.46 Billion
1999 $1,447,296,929 $1.45 Billion
2000 $1,572,669,380 $1.57 Billion
2001 $1,640,698,967 $1.64 Billion
2002 $1,833,473,554 $1.83 Billion
2003 $2,063,548,117 $2.06 Billion
2004 $2,196,988,706 $2.20 Billion
2005 $2,443,255,142 $2.44 Billion
2006 $2,634,301,139 $2.63 Billion
2007 $2,875,059,719 $2.88 Billion
2008 $3,300,553,025 $3.30 Billion
2009 $3,502,204,934 $3.50 Billion
2010 $3,548,118,489 $3.55 Billion
2011 $3,326,967,436 $3.33 Billion
2012 $3,307,187,543 $3.31 Billion
2013 $3,231,891,794 $3.23 Billion
2014 $811,885,919 $0.81 Billion
Number of Lobbyists*
1998 $10,406 10,406
1999 $12,932 12,932
2000 $12,536 12,536
2001 $11,831 11,831
2002 $12,113 12,113
2003 $12,913 12,913
2004 $13,167 13,167
2005 $14,072 14,072
2006 $14,495 14,495
2007 $14,837 14,837
2008 $14,194 14,194
2009 $13,788 13,788
2010 $12,965 12,965
2011 $12,715 12,715
2012 $12,431 12,431
2013 $12,341 12,341
2014 $9,927 9,927

NOTE: Figures are on this page are calculations by the Center for Responsive Politics based on data from the Senate Office of Public Records. Data for the most recent year was downloaded on April 28, 2014.

*The number of unique, registered lobbyists who have actively lobbied.

For each interest group, we offer:

  • Totals: A summary of political giving dating back to 1990 election cycle, including breakdowns by type of contribution and political party
  • Top contributors: A list of organizations (usually U.S. companies) that have given the most from that industry through their employees and political action committees
  • Top recipients: A list of candidates that have received the most from a particular industry

Plus more!

Sector Totals, 2013-2014

Rank Sector Amount Dems Repubs  To DEMS 
 To REPUBS
1 Finance/Insur/RealEst $172,827,317 32.9% 56.0% $56,780,135
2 Other $113,552,639 44.7% 39.3% $50,774,787
3 Ideology/Single-Issue $104,239,447 36.3% 41.8% $37,868,120
4 Misc Business $88,473,842 35.6% 56.3% $31,513,123
5 Lawyers & Lobbyists $71,300,161 60.1% 33.3% $42,867,866
6 Health $65,375,066 40.7% 54.1% $26,630,466
7 Labor $48,685,905 50.5% 6.6% $24,569,268
8 Communic/Electronics $44,451,767 54.6% 39.1% $24,273,419
9 Energy/Nat Resource $41,260,278 21.2% 73.4% $8,765,169
10 Agribusiness $29,485,708 26.5% 69.9% $7,808,021
11 Construction $29,149,051 25.5% 63.4% $7,447,277
12 Transportation $26,760,118 28.1% 69.5% $7,524,785
13 Defense $14,054,121 41.0% 58.7% $5,759,730

METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions of $200 or more from PACs and individuals to federal candidates and from PACs, soft money (including directly from corporate and union treasuries) and individual donors to political parties and outside spending groups, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. Donations to Democrats, Donations to Republicans, and the associated percentages are based solely on contributions to candidates and parties. Independent expenditures and electioneering communications are not reflected in the breakdown by party.

All donations took place during the 2013-2014 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Sunday, April 20, 2014.

Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center.


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DEFENSE

Although the defense sector contributes far less money to politicians than many other sectors, it is one of the most powerful in politics. The sector includes defense aerospace, defense electronics and other miscellaneous defense companies.

Individuals and political action committees associated with the defense sector contributed more than $27 million to political candidates and committees during the 2012 campaign cycle, with far more going to Republicans than Democrats: $16.4 million versus $11 million. [Read more Background]

Top Contributors, 2013-2014

Contributor Amount
Lockheed Martin   $1,756,424
Northrop Grumman   $1,745,083
Boeing Co   $1,568,046
Raytheon Co   $1,324,348
United Technologies   $934,100
General Dynamics   $745,408
BAE Systems   $604,685
Huntington Ingalls Industries   $549,494
Harris Corp   $305,964
L-3 Communications   $273,480
SAIC   $273,275
Honeywell International   $266,540
DRS Technologies   $244,750
DynCorp International   $228,372
General Electric   $208,500
Alliant Techsystems   $205,686
Sierra Nevada Corp   $200,580
Emergent Biosolutions   $184,450
Exelis Inc   $164,000
Airbus Group   $147,000
Contributions to Democrats  Republicans  Outside Spending Groups 

…view more Contributors

Contribution Trends, 1990-2014

Top Industries Lobbying on Defense, 2014

Industry Total
Defense Aerospace  $15,432,546
Misc Defense  $8,851,923
Defense Electronics  $7,019,009

Lobbying Totals, 1998-2014

Party Split, 1990-2014

Top Recipients, 2013-2014

Candidate Office Amount
Durbin, Dick (D-IL) Senate  $217,050
Cornyn, John (R-TX) Senate  $200,500
Thornberry, Mac (R-TX) House  $176,950
McKeon, Buck (R-CA) House  $168,550
Moran, Jim (D-VA) House  $168,050

Related

STUDY: 422% INCREASE SINCE 1998 IN FORMER GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AS LOBBYISTS

HALF OF RETIRING SENATORS BECOME LOBBYISTS, UP 1,500% IN 40 YEARS

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