I think the spending numbers are actually MUCH greater than what is being reported. This report fails to take into account the tens of millions of dollars being paid as salaries, stock and other benefits to the (former?) politician board members and executives of these companies, who undoubtedly are influential in “getting things done.”
Although these payments may not technically be defined as "lobbying"... they certainly have the same effect (and intent) as the dollars spent on traditional lobbying.
While companies should certainly be permitted to use everything in their powers to champion their causes (within the legal boundaries, of course), the article seems to miss the bigger picture of how large companies operate when trying to push policy by completely glossing over the incredible amount of money be paid to their politician partners who are out there making calls and shaking hands with the decision makers.
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