The energy and natural resource industry has spent $288 million on lobbying this year, a 16 percent drop from $341 million at this point in 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill took place. The West Coast energy utility PG&E Corp. has spent about $1.9 million on lobbying this year, a full 96 percent drop from $44.8 million in the first three quarters of 2010. By contrast, BP has steadily increased its investment in lobbying since the spill, according to CRP.
Health industry expenditures are up at several key groups, including the American Medical Association. Transportation industry lobbying, including at Chrysler Group, General Motors and Toyota, is down. The communications and electronics sector, by contrast, is booming. Facebook has quadrupled its lobbying spending, from $221,000 to $910,000. The $325,000 that Netflix has dropped on lobbying is almost six times what it spent last year during the same time frame, according to CRP.
As he promotes his new book, “Capitol Punishment,” former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has criticized the revolving door that sends policy professionals spinning from Capitol Hill to K Street, federal agencies and back again.
Recent job announcements illustrate the trend. Former Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) has formally launched Kit Bond Strategies LLP, to focus on strategy and communications advice and on international business development.
Former Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) has joined National Strategies LLC as a senior adviser focusing on transportation and infrastructure practice.
Stacey Farnen Bernards is leaving Capitol Hill to be vice president for government relations in the Washington office of Honeywell International. She was deputy chief of staff to House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
Bruce Andrews is also leaving the Hill, joining the Commerce Department as chief of staff. He was general counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee.
Janet Fisher, in the meantime, has left the administration. She’s now a partner in the commercial litigation group at Venable LLP. Fisher was a member of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Nonrevolving-door hires continue, of course. Ralph Hellmann has left the Information Technology Industry Council, where he was senior vice president for government relations, to join David Lugar in a new firm dubbed the Lugar Hellmann Group. Lugar ran the Lugar Group.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.