#AceNewsReport – Dec.01: The lobbying industry has donated $545,173 to 2020 presidential campaigns with nearly 80 percent going to Democratic candidates, even as many of those hopefuls vow not to take donations from lobbyists.
Over $114,498 of that has gone to President Donald Trump’s re-election while the rest, $430,675, has been given to Democrats, including those who have dropped out of the race, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics: The total is based on the Federal Election Commission data released on Oct. 16., through third-quarter 2019 fundraising.
The numbers paint a complicated picture: Democratic candidates and their progressive allies in the current cycle have put new scrutiny on lobbyists as well as on taking money from other special interest or corporate groups. But that hasn’t completely stopped the flow of money to candidates and campaigns.
K Street’s top ranks are filled with former Democrats, many with ties to the candidates: And watchdog groups say that while the focus is on federally registered lobbyists, donations from others tied to the industry, such as state- and local-level lobbyists, often trickle through.
“The states are an area that are ripe with influence. In part because it takes lower dollar amounts to influence and people are usually making contributions at a lower level,” Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen, a watchdog group The Hill: The Center for Responsive Politics number includes state and local lobbyists, lobbying firm’s political action committees (PACs) as well as people who work at lobbying firms who are not registered – including support staff and lawyers: Lobbyists who are in-house at a corporation are not included in the count.
If a contribution from a federally registered lobbyist was returned by the campaign, it would be subtracted from the calculation, according to the group: The over $500,000 figure includes both donations to campaigns and money directed to outside groups, like candidates’ political action committees.
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