Wall Street Lobbies Big In 1st Quarter

The Wall Street Journal reports today (via our friends at ThinkProgress), that “Wall Street and the financial industry spent more to lobby Washington in the first quarter of this year than a year ago when Congress was writing sweeping financial-overhaul legislation.”

According to lobbying disclosures filed this week, the 26 financial firms and trade associations that spent the most in 2010 on lobbying also spent $27 million in lobbying in the first quarter of the year—a 2.7% increase from the same time period in 2010.

These same banks and trade associations are also spending money on campaign contributions, according to our analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) data.* Of the 30 top lobbying groups in the finance, credit, and commercial banking sectors in 2010, 23 of their political action committees (PACs) have spent nearly $2.5 million on campaign contributions to candidates, parties, and political committees in the first quarter of 2011.

Political Action Committee

1st Quarter Giving

General Electric

$376,500

American Bankers Association

$362,000

Independent Community Bankers

$301,250

Goldman Sachs

$238,500

Credit Suisse

$231,000

American Express

$137,500

Wells Fargo

$109,000

Bank of America

$107,000

Financial Services Roundtable

$85,750

JPMorgan Chase

$82,500

SLM (Sallie Mae)

$56,650

Morgan Stanley

$52,500

Mastercard

$51,800

Managed Funds Association

$51,500

Cash American International

$49,000

Visa

$46,500

Securities Industry and Financial Market Association

$45,000

Citigroup

$42,000

Consumer Bankers Association

$26,500

Discover Financial

$21,500

American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

$19,000

Investment Co Institute

$5,000

Total:

$2,497,950

As big banks work with Congress and regulators to implement (or weaken) the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, it's important to look at both lobbying and campaign cash.

*This might not reflect every group included in the Wall Street Journal analysis. In addition, executives and employees of these companies have surely donated money in the 1st quarter—we just won’t have all that information for a few more weeks.