The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) released figures today showing that the private donors to the two major party conventions have spent over $1.1 billion on lobbying the federal government since 2005. According to CFI’s latest tally, 146 organizations, nearly all business corporations, have spent on average $7.7 million per company in the past three years trying to influence Washington on legislation and regulations. As of today, CFI reports, 70 companies have given only to the Democratic host committee, while 39 have given only to the GOP committee. So far, 37 corporations have given to both.
CFI released an earlier report last month that decries the fact that federal election law does not require timely disclosure of convention host committee fundraising records. Current law only requires the host committees to report their contributions or expenditures 60 days after the nominating conventions are over. Little good that does.
Obama and McCain have talked a great deal about the need for timely disclosure of political finances, but the two host committees have failed to get with the program. CFI has written each of the 146 companies requesting that they volunteer their own contributions, with only 31 organizations providing partial information. Of the $112 million pledged to the host committees, CFI reports that they are able to identify $27.6 million. So much for timely disclosure.