Top 10 Spenders
General Electric is among the top ten of heavy spenders in the
nations capital, according to an Associated Press study of lobbying.
Businesses and interest groups, many of them pushing a corporate agenda,
spend $100 million a month to influence the federal government.
GE spent $4.12 million in the first half of 1997, ranking eighth behind
the American Medical Association ($8.56 million), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($7
million), Philip Morris ($5.9 million), General Motors ($5.2 million), Edison Electric
Institute ($5 million), Pfizer ($4.6 million) and United Technologies ($4.16 million).
Right behind GE were AT&T and Citicorp. Ranked eleventh was the
Christian Coalition, which spent $4.04 million in the first six months of last year,
largely to support the Republican agenda.
The remainder of the top 50 spenders includes numerous oil companies,
pharmaceutical makers, trade associations and telecommunications firms.
Analysis by the Associated Press found that the most heavily lobbied issue
areas were the federal budget and spending bills, taxes, health care, trade and the
No unions appear among the top 30 spenders, and relatively few unions or
labor-backed coalitions are among the top 50 spenders. In a contest measured by money,
unions simply cant compete against big companies and big banks.
Business money continues to dominate the political process. Corporations
and wealthy individuals made $653.4 million in political contributions in the last
election cycle, compared to $58.1 million in contributions by labor. Thats a ratio
of 11 to one.
With the Republicans in control of Congress, corporate money that used be
channeled to Democrats on key committees now goes to Republicans.