Is Spending on Lobbyists Declining in Washington?
The author asks why spending on lobbying in 2013 fell to the lowest level in five years.
Conventional explanations attribute the fall to a growing difficulty in getting policy through the US Congress.
However, other explanations focus on so-called 'dark' money which is being channeled into lobbying and other influence mechanisms which are harder to detect by the public.
'So what looks like a decline may actually be an increase: Interviews and reports on individual companies suggest that the seeming drop in official lobbying is more than offset by an increase in money spent on other less overt forms of influence peddling,' the author says.
Overall the figures still are significantly higher than the estimated $1.5 billion spent on lobbying in 2000.
Thumbnail image: Phil Roeder/Flickr.