Friday, February 5, 2010

Lobbying industry booms

The recession has battered the U.S. economy, but the lobbying industry is humming along in the nation's capital, even for companies that have shed thousands of jobs in the past year.

The 20 trade associations and companies that spent the most on lobbying increased their spending by more than 20% in 2009 to $507.7 million, up from $418.2 million a year earlier, according to a USA TODAY analysis of reports compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The top 20 include oil giant ConocoPhillips, which announced nearly 1,300 layoffs in January 2009, and drugmaker Pfizer, which shed 4,200 jobs since completing its merger with drug company Wyeth last fall.

Aren't you glad we elected the guy who was going to break the power of the lobbyists and cut their influence in Washington?

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