The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group. The group’s website, OpenSecrets.org, has become a great resource for journalists and vigilant citizens alike. They track the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy and maintain a public online database.
The database is updated from time to time and provides valuable insight into the world of politics, and into the world of corporate America as well.
At the beginning of each year, the Center for Responsive Politics summarizes and publicizes lobbying activity for the past year. The latest reports point to a single conclusion: tech firms are putting their stamp on Washington.
Amazon, Google, and Facebook are among the biggest spenders in D.C.
Lobbying activity does not seem to be a partisan issue. Barrack Obama famously referred to lobbying as “Washington’s revolving door,” banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees, only to lift it in 2016 — to provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts, some suggested, the Washington Post and Politico reported.
The current president of the United States, Donald Trump, much like Obama, vowed to keep lobbyists out of the White House, but he managed to pedal back on his promise before even fulfilling it.
Instead of “draining the swamp,” Trump has been filling it up, the Center for Responsive Politics’ Geoff West wrote in an OpenSecrets blog post analyzing lobbying activity in 2017.
“For the first time since 2007, the number of registered lobbyists along with federal lobbying expenditures went up, reversing annual declines in both registrations and spending that began a decade ago,” West argued.
Silicon Valley’s Washington
Wall Street, too, has become euphoric about tech giants. The meteoric rise of their stocks speaks volumes, but so does the fact that Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are, according to CNN Money, the top four most valuable companies in the world.
Published on the Center for Responsive Politics official website’s lobbying spending database, the information below is an invaluable insight into lobbying and influence activity from three tech and internet titans: Facebook, Amazon, and Google.
Facebook spent over $11 million on lobbying in 2017.
Facebook hired the following lobbying firms: Harbinger Strategies, Subject Matter, Baker & Hostetler, Peck Madigan Jones, Steptoe & Johnson, Stewart Strategies & Solutions, Signal Group, Ogilvy Government Relations, Blue Mountain Strategie, theGROUP DC, and GreenLight Strategies.
Spending, $13 million, slightly more than Facebook, Amazon spent $2 million more in 2017 than in 2016.
Squire Patton Boggs, Akin, Gump et al, Brownstein, Hyatt et al, Ballard Partners, Capitol Tax Partners, Lugar Hellmann Group, Monument Policy Group, TwinLogic Strategies, McGuireWoods LLP, Van Ness Feldman, Rich Feuer Anderson, Bloom Strategic Counsel, and BGR Group lobbied on behalf of Amazon.
And lastly, Google. A company which spent over $18 million on lobbying, surpassing Boeing and AT&T, thus becoming the top corporate spender in all of Washington, according to the Hill.
Squire Patton Boggs, Akin, Gump et al, Brownstein, Hyatt et al, Ballard Partners, Capitol Tax Partners, Lugar Hellmann Group, Monument Policy Group, TwinLogic Strategies, McGuireWoods LLP, Van Ness Feldman, Rich Feuer Anderson, Bloom Strategic Counsel, and BGR Group aided Google in their lobbying efforts.
Washington’s revolving door keeps on spinning as tech firms walk through it.