How Much—and Why—Industries Lobby
Critics complain that lobbying is rampant in Washington and special interest groups get in the way of political progress. But facts suggest that the relationship is symbiotic.
February 24 2012 by Jennifer Pellet
Critics complain that lobbying is rampant in Washington and special interest groups get in the way of political progress. But facts suggest that the relationship is symbiotic. Studies show that the most regulated industries tend to spend the most on lobbyists to protect their interests—suggesting that the more heavily government regulates an industry, the more that industry needs to deploy expensive specialists into the continuing trench warfare of politics to lobby on its behalf.
|Top-Spending Industry Sectors||Lobbying Expenditure|
|Oil & Gas||$110,691,654|
|Misc. Manufacturing & Distributing||$88,335,635|
|Securities & Investment||$74,807,000|
|Civil Servants/Public Officials||$60,162,428|
|Telecom Services & Equipment||$42,765,563|
Source: Center for Responsive Politics
(NOTE: Lobbying expenditures reflect data for the most recent year through October 31, 2011.)