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Some Corporations and Associations Cut Lobbying Expenditures

Some organizations spending on lobbying the federal government during the fourth quarter showed large reductions in spending from the third quarter, according to early filings.

Fourth quarter lobbying reports for 2013 are due by close of business Tuesday. An early filing by the Grocery Manufacturers Association showed spending of $4,950,000 in the fourth quarter, down 34% from the $7,470,000 spent in the third quarter when they were the third largest spender.  Since the reporting forms only require a single expenditure figure and no details on how the money was spent, it is unclear what types of spending were reduced.

But during the third quarter the association was spending heavily on issue ads and opposing state ballot initiatives that would require labels on goods made from genetically engineered crops. After being sued by the state of Washington for disclosure of the donors behind the ads, the association disclosed the original donors. Political MoneyLine’s earlier posting detailed the companies contributing to the association.

Some news reports have indicated organizations may be altering what types of expenditures they report. Some may reduce their reported expenditures by only reporting those expenditures that are specifically required by law, and exclude all other types, such as spending on public relations, strategic planning, or state-level activity.

The American Chemistry Council reported fourth quarter spending of $2,760,000 down 41% from the $4,750,000 spent in the third quarter when they were the fourth largest spender. The reduction may relate to a shift in expenditures in individual states to beat back state efforts to disclose harmful chemicals or remove them from the shelves.Dow Chemical Company reported $1,530,000 down 42% from the $2,660,000 they reported in the third quarter.

Other early filers reported increased spending in the fourth quarter. FedEx reported spending $3,165,090 up slightly from the $3,041,394 spent in the third quarter. UPS reported spending $1,561,410 up slightly from the $1,411,126 they spent in the third quarter.

Boeing Company reported spending $3,720,000 down from slightly from the $3,790,00 spent in the third quarter. Lockheed Martin spent $3,350,000 down slightly from the $3,460,000 in the third quarter. General Dynamics Corporation reported spending $3,265,000 up from the $2,254,157 they spent in the third quarter.

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