Business/Finance

Does money talk? Lobbying on immigration on the rise

As my colleague E Rocha pointed out earlier today, get ready for the next attempt to wrestle an immigration (or is it an anti-immigration?) bill through the U.S. Congress, complete with secrecy, parliamentary maneuvering, general political chicanery — and lobbying.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the money. News stories, for reasons of brevity, usually refer to lobbying “groups” or “organizations.” Until one sees the lobbying activity by amount of money and name of player, it’s impact cannot be fully appreciated.

Lindsay Renick Mayer and Anne Riley at Capital Eye, in a piece last week headlined “Border Patrol,” identified the major lobbying players both for and against the immigration bill. Using Federal Election Commission records, they determined how much money these groups spent on lobbying activity in 2006. (The totals are for all lobbying activity, not just that on immigration issues.)

Combined, these groups spent around $171 million during 2006.

Of that total, the lead lobbyists of the business community accounted for about half, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spending the most, nearly $73 million in 2006. Compare that with the total spending of the lead lobbyists for human rights — about $4.6 million. Surprisingly, the lead agribusiness lobbyists totaled only about $11 million — with the health lobby at more than twice that.

Wrote Mayer and Riley:

More than 300 organizations reported lobbying efforts related to immigration in 2006, and that number is likely to increase again this year. While there is no way to determine just how much money each industry and organization spent on lobbying related to immigration specifically, many key players say this issue has moved to the top of their list of legislative priorities. Campaign contributions from industry groups with a stake in the outcome can also send a message to federal lawmakers who are shaping the legislation. [emphasis added]

Mayer and Riley’s story grouped the players into seven categories. Here they are, with total lobbying expenditures for 2006.

Labor (total: $8,655,961)

AFL-CIO ………………………………………..$3,625,000
United Auto Workers …………………….. $1,593,961
Machinists/Aerospace
Workers Union ……………………………….. $720,000
UNITE HERE …………………………………… $700,000
Service Employees
International Union ………………………… $682,000
United Food & Commercial
Workers Union ………………………………… $680,000
Laborers’ Union ………………………………. $440,000
Sheet Metal Workers Union ……………… $120,000
International Federation of
Professional & Technical Engineers …. $55,000
Major League Baseball
Players Association …………………………. $40,000

Health (total: $24,287,457)

American Hospital
Association ……………………………. $17,415,135
American Health Care
Association ……………………………….. $1,840,000
American Physical
Therapy Association ………………. $1,600,000
National Association of Public
Hospitals & Health Systems ………….$725,000
American Nurses Association …….. $587,238
Catholic Health Association
of the US ………………………………………… $540,000
Beverly Enterprises ……………………… $507,600
California Healthcare
Association …………………………………… $486,984
Acute Long Term
Hospital Association …………………… $370,000
Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center …………………………….. $215,500

High tech ($33,514,143)

Microsoft Corp ……………………….. $8,880,000
IBM Corp ………………………………….$8,080,000
Intel Corp ……………………………….. $3,800,000
Oracle Corp …………………………….. $3,064,000
Texas Instruments ……………………. $2,305,408
eBay Inc …………………………………….$1,975,000
Micron Technology …………………… $1,769,735
Unisys Corp ……………………………… $1,360,000
Cisco Systems ………………………….. $1,220,000
Advanced Micro Devices …………… $1,060,000

Business ($88,238,221)

US Chamber of Commerce ……. $72,740,000
Accenture ………………………………. $4,026,221
Anheuser-Busch ……………………. $3,240,000
Wal-Mart Stores …………………….. $2,480,000
National Restaurant
Association ………………………………. $2,300,000
Coca-Cola Co ……………………….. $1,060,000
Molson Coors Brewing …………….. $917,000
Home Depot ……………………………… $609,000
International Franchise
Association ………………………………. $580,000
DSNR Ltd ………………………………….. $286,000

Human rights ($4,663,404)

Human Rights Campaign …………… $1,180,969
National Council of La Raza ……….. $576,180
United Jewish Communities …………. $565,557
NAACP ………………………………………… $540,000
Center on Budget &
Policy Priorities …………………………… $497,002
Leadership Conference
on Civil Rights …………………………….. $478,696
Human Rights First ……………………… $260,000
American Council on
International Personnel ……………….. $240,000
NETWORK …………………………………… $205,000
Anti-Defamation League …………….. $120,000

Agribusiness ($10,960,807)

American Farm
Bureau Federation ………………. $5,511,204
Deere & Co …………………………… $1,180,000
National Council of
Farmer Co-ops …………………….. $1,071,000
Farmers Educational
Cooperative Union …………….. $1,004,055
National Milk Producers
Federation ……………………………… $474,548
Dairy Farmers of America ………… $460,000
Cargill Inc ………………………………. $400,000
Swift & Co ………………………………. $300,000
American Meat Institute ………….. $280,000
Agricultural Coalition
for Immigration Reform …………..$280,000

Construction ($5,420,000)

National Association
of Home Builders …………………. $2,820,000
Associated Builders
& Contractors ………………………….$1,020,000
Centex Corp ……………………………. $600,000
National Roofing
Contractors Association ………….. $600,000
American Nursery &
Landscape Association ……………. $200,000
National Utility
Contractors Association ……………… $80,000
California Landscape
Contractors ……………………………….. $60,000
National Association
Plumb-Heat-Cooling Contractors …. $40,000

xpost: 5th Estate

2 replies »

  1. Yeah, follow the money to cheap labor. I like your blog. That’s Hunter S. Thompson’s photo, right?

    Check out my blog at sadbasdards.wordpress.com.

  2. Now that is what I am talking about. It is so hard these days to find this information. I am talking about the break down. I remember seeing a New York Times article mention that Big Business drafted the bill, now it is like it went down some internet memory hole.

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