few places you can easily research this information, and to no surprise the usual suspects rise to the top in terms of annual lobbying expenditures.An article in USA Today this week got me interested in how much the tech firms are paying to lobby Congress. There are a
Last year, Microsoft topped this list compiled by OpenSecrets.org at close to $7 million, and HP and Google weren't far behind. The same three firms have so far spent more than a total of $10 million this year. Other firms in the top ten include Oracle, IBM, Intel and Cisco. According to their federal filings, Google employs nearly 25 different lobbying firms alone. (The data from this year is incomplete, this is from OpenSecrets.org.)
No surprise but several trade associations are big spenders, including the Entertainment Software Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the Business Software Alliance (the latter has been mostly a lobbying arm of the software industry anyway).
Notable 2011 expenditures of online vendors include GoDaddy at $400,000, Amazon at $1 million, Verisign at $600,000, and Yahoo at $1.2 million. Facebook has doubled their lobbying efforts from last year, spending close to a $1 million in the first nine months of 2011. Their efforts interestingly enough have focused on consumer privacy bills before Congress, including HR 1895 from Ed Markey that would require online companies to obtain parental permission before collecting minors' personal information. As if that will be the day (that parents will actually know how to sign off on this for their kids, I mean).
And for those of you fat cats that want to throw your weight and dollars around, there is still time to meet execs from Google, Microsoft, LegalZoom, Shopkick, Yelp and Facebook at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senate campaign starting Thursday evening in Menlo Park, Calif. A mere $1,000 will get you in the door to attend the dinner and an all-day conference on Friday, and no, your contributions are not tax deductible.