Open Secrets

The Power of Lobbying and Spending? is a website created by the Center for Responsive Politics to ensure transparency in our campaign finance system. The goal of their website is to provide the general public with information about not only who receives campaign funds, but who gives it, including lobbyists and their clients. Check out the list of the “Top Spenders”, a list of of lobbyists’ clients who have spent the most money from 1998-2019. As you closely examine the list complete the questions that follow.

Questions for Completion.

1. Which organizations do you recognize in the top twenty? Whose interests do they represent?

2. For one client in the top 20, determine who they donated to, which parties,  and see if you can determine what legislation they support or what legislation, if any, they wanted stalled or defeated.

3. Do you think campaign contributions from lobbying groups can convince politicians to change their opinion? Why or why not?

4. Many politicians insist that they cannot be bought, but rather lobbyists and interest groups can receive access and be heard more than the average citizen. React to this.