Lobby Firms Play Politics in 2012 Elections

Washington lobby firms are pouring millions of dollars into 2012 campaigns.

So far, spending by the biggest political action committees has favored Republicans.

Firms with the most generous PACs include Ernst & Young, DLA Piper, Greenberg Traurig and Akin, Gump.

Here’s the PAC spending of major firms in the 2012 election cycle, with party breakdowns determined by the Center for Responsive Politics:

Lobbying Firm PAC spending Democrats Republicans
Ernst & Young $1,057,874 32% 51%
DLA Piper $672,182 45% 44%
Greenberg Traurig LLP $635,747 33% 52%
Akin, Gump $592,264 45% 45%
K&L Gates $547,010 34% 52%
Holland & Knight $515,508 44% 47%
Alston & Bird $360,576 63% 37%
Patton Boggs LLP $299,890 44% 42%
SNR Denton $292,899 36% 64%
Covington & Burling $286,506 19% 20%
Hogan Lovells $244,353 43% 49%
Blank Rome LLP $227,000 44% 42%
Brownstein, Hyatt et al $202,505 46% 34%
Arnold & Porter $151,772 55% 30%
Steptoe & Johnson $147,794 30% 30%
Glover Park Group $118,616 66% 14%
Bracewell and Giuliani $99,799 24% 70%
Williams & Jensen $91,807 33% 51%
Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates $89,000 39% 55%
Sidley Austin LLP $83,041 27% 17%
Polsinelli Shughart $75,250 49% 51%
Miller & Chevalier $53,987 22% 30%
BGR Group $45,606 18% 39%
Van Scoyoc Assoc $39,238 44% 38%
Nickles Group $27,396 0% 80%
Crowell & Moring $22,099 68% 32%

Sources: Center for Responsive Politics, Muckety

First Street reported in March that 13 current and former lobbyists are working with the Romney campaign.

The Obama camp has said it will not accept contributions from lobbyists or special-interest PACs.

That prohibition apparently does not extend to outside organizations or to fundraisers who work for lobby clients.

For instance, lobby firm Akerman Senterfitt contributed $20,000 in October to Priorities USA Action, a group supporting the re-election of President Obama.

Bundlers – well-connected fundraisers who bring in donations through connections to friends and colleagues – may not be registered lobbyists themselves, but many work for firms that lobby.

The following table shows the number of people at major firms acting as bundlers.

Lobby Firm Candidate Bundlers
Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson Obama 1
Akin, Gump Obama 2
Alston & Bird Obama 1
Arnold & Porter Obama 3
Barnes and Thornburg Romney 1
Blank Rome LLP Obama 1
Bracewell & Giuliani Obama 1
Bravo Group Romney 1
Brownstein, Hyatt Obama 1
Conlon Public Strategies Obama 1
Cozen & O’Connor Obama 1
Dewey & LeBoeuf Obama 1
DLA Piper Romney 5
Dorsey & Whitney Obama 1
Dow Lohnes Romney 1
Drinker, Biddle & Reath Obama 1
Dutko Worldwide Romney 2
Fabiani & Co Obama 1
FaegreBD Consulting Romney 1
Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock Romney 1
Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock Obama 1
Foley & Lardner Obama 2
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Obama 1
Greenberg Traurig LLP Obama 3
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis Obama 1
Jorden Burt LLP Obama 1
K&L Gates Obama 1
Kilpatrick Stockton Llp Obama 1
Kirkland & Ellis Obama 1
Kramer, Levin Obama 2
Mayer Brown LLP/Catbird Networks Obama 1
Mercury Public Affairs LLC Romney 1
Miller, Hamilton Obama 1
Mintz, Levin Obama 1
Morrison & Foerster Obama 1
MWW Group Obama 1
National Environmental Strategies Romney 1
O’Melveny & Myers Obama 1
Ogilvy Government Relations Romney 2
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Obama 1
Paul, Hastings Obama 1
Perkins Coie Obama 1
Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications Romney 1
Rasky Baerlin Strategic Communications Obama 1
Sidley Austin LLP Obama 1
Skadden, Arps Obama 4
SNR Denton Obama 1
Weil, Gotshal & Manges Obama 1
WilmerHale LLP Obama 1
Winston & Strawn Obama 1
Womble, Carlyle Obama 1

Sources: Federal Election Commission, First Street, Center for Responsive Politics, Muckety

Here’s a list of the bundlers and their connections to lobby firms:

Bundler Employer Candidate
Adams, Charles Akin, Gump Obama
Alderman, Mark Cozen & O’Connor Obama
Andrew, Joe SNR Denton Obama
Beightol, David Dutko Worldwide Romney
Benioff, Marc Salesforce.Com Obama
Berke, Barry Kramer, Levin Obama
Berman, Wayne Ogilvy Government Relations Romney
Billings, David Akin, Gump Obama
Boyd, Tom DLA Piper Romney
Bravacos, Christopher Bravo Group Romney
Broas, Tim Winston & Strawn Obama
Burd, David Arnold & Porter Obama
Burton, Kent National Environmental Strategies Romney
Calabrese, Joe O’Melveny & Myers Obama
Cedarbaum, Jonathan WilmerHale LLP Obama
Chesley, Rick Paul, Hastings Obama
Chun, Eunu Kirkland & Ellis Obama
Cioffi, Michael Blank Rome LLP Obama
Conlon, Kevin Conlon Public Strategies Obama
Davis, Gordon Dewey & LeBoeuf Obama
Dunham, Doug Skadden, Arps Obama
Falk, Joseph Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson Obama
Farber, Steve Brownstein, Hyatt Obama
Gail, David Weil, Gotshal & Manges Obama
Garai, Gabor Foley & Lardner Obama
Garcia, Roland Greenberg Traurig LLP Obama
Gold, Judy Perkins Coie Obama
Goldman, Steve Kramer, Levin Obama
Gorman, Matt Fabiani & Co Obama
Grand, Robert T. Barnes and Thornburg Romney
Hardy, Ralph W. Jr Dow Lohnes Romney
Harper, Keith Kilpatrick Stockton Llp Obama
Harris, Scott Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis Obama
Isakowitz, Mark W. Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock Romney
Kassen, Michael Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock Obama
Kempner, Michael MWW Group Obama
Lawson, Michael Skadden, Arps Obama
Levi, Jill Sidley Austin LLP Obama
Levine, Mel Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Obama
Lewis, Kenneth Womble, Carlyle Obama
Maloney, Drew K. Ogilvy Government Relations Romney
Mason, Karol Alston & Bird Obama
McDermott, Shaw K&L Gates Obama
McLain, Thomas Arnold & Porter Obama
McSherry, Michael Mercury Public Affairs LLC Romney
Miller, Lee DLA Piper Obama
Newmark, Steven Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Obama
Patman, Carrin Bracewell & Giuliani Obama
Patterson, Chaka Skadden, Arps Obama
Patterson-Strachan, Shaunda Jorden Burt LLP Obama
Perkins, Giles Miller, Hamilton Obama
Pravda, Susan Foley & Lardner Obama
Rasky, Larry Rasky Baerlin Strategic Communications Obama
Ruiz, Jesse Drinker, Biddle & Reath Obama
Sanchez, Ignacio E. DLA Piper Romney
Schapiro and Newberger, Andy and Tamar Mayer Brown LLP/Catbird Networks Obama
Shaw, Noah Mintz, Levin Obama
Sherman, Bob Greenberg Traurig LLP Obama
Simmons, William Mark Dutko Worldwide Romney
Smith, Charles Skadden, Arps Obama
Solow, Alan DLA Piper Obama
Sterner, Amy Dorsey & Whitney Obama
Tamasi, David Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications Romney
Tant, Allison Greenberg Traurig LLP Obama
Tripodi, Cathleen W. FaegreBD Consulting Romney
Young, Chris Morrison & Foerster Obama
Zimroth, Peter Arnold & Porter Obama
Zinn, Catherine DLA Piper Obama


  1. You make a very good point.

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