Lobbying Expenditures and Contributions - Essay Example

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The term lobbying comes from the activities of private citizenry regularly congregating in the lobbies of legislative chambers before a session to petition legislators. (Schmidt, Shelley and Bardes, 2011, pg. 234)…
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Lobbying Expenditures and Contributions
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Lobbying Expenditures and Contributions
The term lobbying comes from the activities of private citizenry regularly congregating in the lobbies of legislative chambers before a session to petition legislators. (Schmidt, Shelley and Bardes, 2011, pg. 234)
Lobbying has become a huge business involving battles over governmental public policies, and trillions of dollars in appropriations, contracts, and profits are up for grabs. Between 1998 and 2006, the american medical association spent in excess of $1.5 million on lobbying the federal government, and that total placed it second on the biggest spender list to the$3.17 million spent by the U.S chamber of commerce (Morgan and Hrebenar, 2009, pg.33). Overall, lobbying expenditures of groups lobbying the federal governement totaled $2.44 billion in 2011 up from $1.44 billion in 1998, the number of lobbyist have on the same note increased from 10,406 in 1998 to 12,193 in 2011(Center for Responsive Politics, 2011). Several billions of additional dollars were also spent on the state level in lobbying(Center for Responsible Politics, 2007).
Between 1998 and 2010 the top three sectors and their total spending on average are, the finance, insuarance and real estate sector having spent $4,274,060,331 representing 14.53 percent of the total spending, second is the health sector spending $4,222,427,808 representing 14.53% of total spending, third is the Misc business sector representing 14.11%. The energy and natural resources sector lies fifth representing 10.55% lobbying spending .
The lobbying community drowns political candidates in campaign contributions. The financial sector invested in excess of $5 billion in political influence purchasing in the United States in the last decade. The financial sector alone spent more than $1.738 billion in the central federal elections between the period 1998-2008. In the 1998 election cycle, democrats took above half of the financial sectors contributions. This predominantly reflected the balance of power over this period as about 55 percent ended up with the republicans while the remaining 45 percent went to the democrats. (Center for Reponsive Politics, 2011)
These lobbying expenditures totals represent the huge role played by lobbyists and lobbies in the United States, and they indicate the challenges and dangers such expenditures create for americans democratic politics and responsible, honest government.
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