K Street Lobbyists

The Big Banks, Big Oil and other corporations have hired an army of lobbyists (often right out of the White House and the federal agencies that are supposed to be regulating them). These lobbyists corrupt the process, block reform, even write their own legislation. They’ve hijacked our Democracy and left the rest of us out in the cold. Check out these facts:

-In the two years leading up to the catastrophic spill in the Gulf, BP hired twelve lobbying firms and paid them $32 million to press their agenda in Congress. [Source]

-Wall Street banks are spending $500 million a year to block the financial reform legislation. [Source]
-Since 1998, the financial sector, including the insurance and real estate industries, has spent more money on federal lobbying than any other sector. In 2009 alone, these companies spent a whopping $465 million. [Source]

-243 lobbyists for the six biggest banks used to work in the federal government –  That’s about 40 revolving-door lobbyists per bank. [Source]

-The six big banks have spent close to  $600 million on lobbying, trade association activity and political contributions since the first major federal bailout of Bear Stearns in March 2008. [Source]

-Citigroup employs 55 revolving-door lobbyists, more  than any other big bank or financial industry trade association. [Source]

-At nearly $266.8 million, the pharmaceutical and health products industry’s federal lobbying expenditures not only outpaced all other business industries and special interest areas in 2009, but stand as the greatest amount ever spent on lobbying efforts by a single industry for one year. [Source]

-Insurers have played the inside game, spending about $40 million on an army of lobbyists and lavishing campaign contributions on Democrats and Republicans to kill the public option. In all, the health industry spent $133 million in the second quarter of 2009 alone, more than a million bucks a day. [Source]

-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a leading opponent of the Democrats’ plans for health care reform, Wall Street reform, climate change and unionization efforts, once again ranked as the top dog on K Street this quarter.  The Chamber and its subsidiaries spent nearly $30.9 million on federal, state and grassroots lobbying activities.  [Source]

-In all, special interests spent $3.47 billion lobbying congress last year.  [Source]

-In 2010 alone, the oil and gas industry has spent over $38 million on lobbying.  [Source]

-At least 150 former members of Congress were actively lobbying their former colleagues last year. [Source]

-62% of Americans believe Wall Street executives were dishonest with the public during the recent financial meltdown. [Source]