From Center for Public Integrity, by John Dunbar, Daniel Lathrop and Robert Morlino:
"A new Center for Public Integrity investigation of campaign contributions, lobbying expenditures and other spending shows that the communications industry has spent $1.1 billion since 1998 to affect election outcomes and influence legislation before Congress and the White House.
The report focuses on the three primary communications industry sectors that control the information pipelines in the United States – broadcasting, cable television and telecommunications. Researchers also examined lobbying and contribution activity of other companies regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, including satellite television and radio companies.
In addition to corporate spending on lobbying and campaign contributions, the total includes industry-funded trips for members of the House and Senate committees that oversee the FCC. Center researchers also undertook an unprecedented study of former key FCC and congressional officials who left their government jobs for positions in the communications field.
A breakdown shows:
Total lobbying expenditures from 1998 through mid-2004 by the industry were more than $957 million. In comparison, the oil and gas industry spent $396 million over the same period, the Center has found.
Campaign contributions from 1998 through September 2004 were $145.6 million. The total includes both hard and soft money donations from industry employees, labor unions representing employees in the communications industry and political action committees.
The Center identified 450 industry-funded trips valued at $704,229 from 2000 through March of 2004. "