Influence Explored: Corporations lobby for tax breaks


An article on the front page of the New York Times yesterday reported on the pressure some major corporations—such as Microsoft— put on Congress and the administration to have a tax break implemented to make it cheaper for them to bring their money back to the states.

What the corporations and their lobbyists are asking for is known as a repatriation holiday, which would bring the tax rate on profits returned to the states down to about 5 percent from 35 percent for one year.

Here’s a look at the influence efforts behind the names and corporations mentioned in the piece:

  • Apple made $165,848 in campaign contributions for the 2009-10 election cycle. The technology giant reported spending just over $3 million in lobbying money between the years 2009 and 2010 with $560,00 of that money going to Capital Tax Partners. Capital Tax Partners regularly lobbies on tax related issues. For the first quarter of 2011, the company has reported paying Capital Tax Partners $80,000.
  • Microsoft made $4.4 million in campaign contributions during the 2009-2010 cycle and reported spending $13.6 million on lobbying for those same years.
  • Google made $1.4 million in campaign contributions in 2009-10 and reported spending $9.1 million lobbying Congress.
  • Kevin Brady, a R-Texas, received just over $1 million in campaign contributions for the 2009-10 election cycle.

An article published in Business Insider reports on a lower-profile corporation that also lobbies and make contributions to influence Washington. The article details Celanese Corporation’s appointment of a new vice president. Here’s a look at the global chemical producer’s influence profile:

  • Celanese Corporation made $31,562 in campaign contributions during the 2009-10 election cycle and spent $160,000 lobbying Congress those same years.

‘Influence Explored’ takes an article from the day’s headlines and exposes the influential ways of entities mentioned in the article. Names and corporations are run through Sunlight’s influence tracking tools such as Influence Explorer and Transparency Data to remind readers of the money that powers Washington.