It's a good time to be a lobbyist

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Companies from a widening range of industries are investing more heavily in lobbying, according to the “K Street Index,” which tracks the stock performance of the 50 biggest lobbyers:

Jason Trennert attributes this to growing recognition of the return-on-investment in lobbying among companies that aren’t in the three industries that typically compose the bulk of the list – namely, defense, finance or pharmaceuticals, which are all “heavily regulated industries”:

“I think it speaks to the fact that government is a much bigger part of the economy,”  Trennert points out, adding that many companies now actually view their lobbying expenditures along the same lines as R&D (research and development) or equipment spending.

Along the same lines, infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff calls lobbyist campaign contributions a form of legal bribery: 

No one would seriously propose visiting a judge before a trial and offering a financial gratuity, or choice tickets to an athletic event, in exchange for special consideration from the bench. Yet no inside-the-Beltway hackles are raised when a legislative jurist — also known as a congressman — receives a campaign contribution even as he contemplates action on an issue of vital importance to the donor.

During the years I was lobbying, I purveyed millions of my own and clients’ dollars to congressmen, especially at such decisive moments. I never contemplated that these payments were really just bribes, but they were. Like most dissembling Washington hacks, I viewed these payments as legitimate political contributions, expressions of my admiration of and fealty to the venerable statesman I needed to influence.

Via Andrew Sullivan.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.