Washington lobbyists have donated more than $2.5 million to Congressional candidates so far this election cycle, but that may just be the beginning.
A Roll Call analysis finds that despite the anti-establishment tone of this year’s election, lobbyists are still opening their pocketbooks at a record pace. However, Donald Trump is not yet reaping the benefits of lobbyist donations.
That $2.5 million is a drop in the bucket compared to donations to super-PAC’s this cycle.
The 2014 Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission did away with an aggregate limit on donations to candidates for federal office. And with control of the Senate in play, it’s increasingly difficult for lobbyists from both parties to resist fundraising pleas.
New arrangements such as joint fundraising committees have also driven up the requests for money. And registered Democratic lobbyists, who for two presidential cycles were blocked by President Barack Obama from donating to his campaigns, have now been liberated. They have made Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton the top recipient of K Street cash among White House hopefuls this election cycle. The Democratic National Committee is also once more welcoming lobbyist checks.
Here’s a graph detailing the top donors from K Street: