Sunrise (4/25/11)

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CORPORATE POLITICAL SPENDING REMAINS HIDDEN

LAT: “Despite mounting calls for greater transparency, only a few of the country’s 75 leading energy, healthcare and financial services corporations fully disclose political spending, according to a review of company records and state and federal campaign finance reports. … While complying with legal requirements to report direct donations to candidates, the vast majority of these companies — many of which are seeking legislative favors from the new Congress — do not reveal information even to their shareholders about support for politically active trade associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. … Groups such as the chamber, some of which spend millions of dollars on elections, are not required to reveal their financial supporters. And companies are not required to report their donations to those groups. … Only 14 of the country’s 75 leading energy, healthcare and financial services companies reported payments to industry trade associations in 2009. But those 14 alone gave more than $23.5 million for lobbying and political purposes, according to company postings. … The remaining 61 companies in those industries did not disclose any payments. That same year, however, the chamber and seven other leading trade groups representing the three industries took in more than $1.3 billion, more than the state of Vermont collected in taxes. These groups, in turn, spent some $500 million on lobbying and other political activity such as television advertising, tax records show.”

BAUCUS STAFFER TO K STREET

Roll Call: “Holland & Knight, which has been on a hiring spree this year, just nabbed Pat Bousliman from the Senate Finance Committee. … Bousliman, who signs on to the firm as a senior policy adviser, spent 13 years working for Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). He logged three years in Baucus’ personal office and spent the past decade on the committee. His most recent role was being professional staff for tax policy.”

IMPLEMENTATION, IMPLEMENTATION

WSJ: “Wall Street and the financial industry spent more to lobby Washington in the first quarter of this year than a year ago when Congress was writing sweeping financial-overhaul legislation, according to a Wall Street Journal review of lobbying reports released Thursday. … “Implementation, implementation, implementation,” said Scott Talbott, top lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, explaining the spending. The Roundtable, which spent about $2.5 million in the quarter, represents 100 of the largest U.S. financial firms.”

WaPo: “In the first three months of this year, more than 300 companies, trade associations and lobbying firms were targeting provisions of the financial regulation law, records show. And more than 400 were lobbying on the health-care law, the reports show. … Those numbers are down from the peak of activity when the bills were taking shape, but the two issues are still among the hottest on Capitol Hill.”

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