…..Legislators listen and public policies follow.
Examples of where money has influenced public policies, nationally and in Virginia
Escalating Health Costs
In 2018, the healthcare industry employed more than 5 lobbyists for each member of Congress, spending more than $700 million on lobbying and support for actual or potential members of Congress. In the same year members of this industry gave $225 million to federal candidates, outside money groups and parties.
A study found that the pharmaceutical and health product industry spent $4.7 billion, an average of $233 million per year, lobbying the US federal government; $414 million on contributions to presidential and congressional electoral candidates, national party committees, and outside spending groups; and $877 million on contributions to state candidates and committees.
Your Utility Costs: The Case of Dominion Energy
Since 1996, Dominion Energy has been one of the largest corporate contributors to Virginia’s elected officials, donating more than $13.4 million to legislators on both sides of the aisle. This creates a regulatory landscape which benefits the bottom line of energy and utility companies while discouraging climate technology innovation and raising utility prices for Virginia customers.
The Corrosive Impact of Money in Politics: The Nursing Home Lobby
The nation’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, who are often in frail health and living in close proximity to one another, account for over 40% of all COVID-19 fatalities. Yet, the $137 billion nursing home industry is one of the lobbying world’s quiet powerhouses. An increasing number of facilities have been purchased by out-of-state private equity firms. At the federal level, the industry has spent more than $4 million on lobbying over the past year.
Mass Incarceration and Private Prisons
According to Open Secrets, private prisons, dominated by GEO Group and its nearest competitor, CoreCivic, in 2020 have contributed over $2 million to candidates, parties and outside spending group, with the majority of the growth since 2014 in outside contributions.
Telecom Money Talks: Broadband investment follows or ….doesn’t.
Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998. The telecom industry’s lobbying efforts have had tangible ramifications on state laws governing municipal broadband. In fact, facilitated by over 631 lobbyists, over $100 million was spent on lobbying in 2019 alone to protect business interests at the national and state level.
Why Republicans Support Getting Money Out of Politics
When the Supreme Court issued its Citizens United ruling in 2010, Republicans appeared to be the beneficiaries of the new Super PAC era. Suddenly, billionaires and corporations were allowed to inject unlimited amounts of money into our elections, often with donors’ identities hidden. Then things changed….