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Undated: Lobbying in the United States describes paid activity in which special interests hire professional advocates to argue for specific legislation in decision-making bodies such as the United States Congress. Lobbying in the United States could be seen to originate from Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States, which states: Congress shall make no law…abridging the right of the people peaceably…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Some lobbyists are now using social media to reduce the cost of traditional campaigns, and to more precisely target public officials with political messages.
A number of published studies showed lobbying expenditure is correlated with great financial returns. For example, a 2011 study of the 50 firms that spent the most on lobbying relative to their assets compared their financial performance against that of the S&P 500 in the stock market concluded that spending on lobbying was a "spectacular investment" yielding "blistering" returns comparable to a high-flying hedge fund, even despite the financial downturn of the past few years.
A 2011 meta-analysis of previous research findings found a positive correlation between corporate political activity and firm performance. Finally, a 2009 study found that lobbying brought a substantial return on investment, as much as 22,000% in some cases. Major American corporations spent $345 million lobbying for just three pro-immigration bills between 2006 and 2008.
Foreign-funded lobbying efforts include those of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, and China lobbies. In 2010 alone, foreign governments spent approximately $460 million on lobbying members of Congress and government officials.
Undated: Lobbyists in (and out of) the Trump Administration
President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order within his first days of office forbidding Executive Branch appointees from lobbying for five years after employment in the Administration. The Order also forbids former registered lobbyists now working in the White House from participating in areas they had previously lobbied on for a period of two years.
Despite this directive, these men and women made their way through the revolving door and were either previously lobbyists and now work in the Trump Administration or were previously in the Administration and work as lobbyists.
-- 2017 --
January 28: President Donald Trump acted Saturday to fulfill a key portion of his pledge to "drain the swamp" in Washington, banning administration officials from ever lobbying the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government and imposing a separate five-year ban on other lobbying.
Administration officials described the bans as historic in scope. But it was not immediately clear how either one would be enforced.
January 28: President Donald Trump's much-hyped ban on administration officials becoming lobbyists removed some of President Barack Obama's ethics rules instead of strengthening them.
Trump's ethics pledge, issued as an executive order on Saturday, includes a five-year "lobbying ban" that falls short of its name, preventing officials from lobbying the agency they worked in for five years after they leave, but allowing them to lobby other parts of the government.
"Lobbyists bring special interest baggage with them when they pass through the revolving door to go to work in the very agencies they once lobbied," Norm Eisen and Richard Painter, the last two presidents' ethics lawyers now at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement. "Obama banned this practice but Trump has brought it back."
Obama issued ethics waivers for some officials, and Trump's executive order retained that ability but removed the requirement to disclose them. That opens the door to the White House departing from the policy without public scrutiny or political consequences; the White House could claim any apparent violation had been exempted.
-- 2018 --
December 18: Lobbyists Are Feasting in Trump’s Swamp
The administration has become an ethics nightmare, as former industry shills now lead the EPA and the Interior Department.
-- 2019 --
February 14: Former Trump Officials Are Supposed to Avoid Lobbying. Except 33 Haven’t.
The former officials — including ex-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke — have found ways to sidestep the administration’s ethics pledge. At least 18 of them are now registered federal lobbyists and the rest work in jobs that closely resemble lobbying.
March 8: Sustain the swamp: Hundreds of lobbyists swim through Trump's administration ...
Data provided to The Post by the liberal organization American Bridge 21st Century identifies over 350 individuals who've worked as lobbyists who currently work in the administration, have worked in it or have been nominated to serve in Trump's administration. Cumulatively, they've represented more than 2,800 companies at one point or another, according to lobbying registration documents. Nearly 200 of them now served or have been nominated to serve in divisions of government that they once lobbied.
April 27: Ex-Trump Cabinet heads' lobbying gigs challenge 'drain the swamp' message
The revealed revolving door ... paints one of the clearest pictures of the president’s failed promises to eliminate special interests in Washington.
-- 2020 --
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