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Fri Jan 20, 2012, 05:18 AM

Thanks to Citizens United, Mega Lobbyist Firm Salivates Over $4 Billion in Campaign Cash [View all]


Thanks to Citizens United, Multinational Mega Lobbyist Firm Salivates Over $4 Billion in Campaign Cash
The WPP Group is perhaps the most important lobbying corporation you've never heard of.

Alternet / By Lee Fang

On Saturday, protesters will stage demonstrations across the country to mark the two year anniversary of the Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that opened the door to unlimited, and largely secret, corporate money flooding into American elections. But not everyone is grimacing at the prospect of special interests buying the 2012 vote.

Last summer, Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the world's largest advertising and lobbying corporation, the WPP Group, told investors that he is bullish for this year. Political spending in the United States, Sorrell said confidently, "has already kicked off" and will rise to $4 billion -- "as best as we can anticipate." "The Supreme Court decision recently," he said referencing Citizens United, "on lobbying and funding of lobbying, pushes it further." 

Most American media outlets segregate campaign spending from from special interest lobbying. But the British CEO's conflation of the two may be a more accurate representation.

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With Citizens United, a trend that has existed for years in Washington exploded, with lobbyists gaining a new weapon to exert influence over elected officials. Scott Reed, a corporate lobbyist, told the National Journal before the 2010 midterm elections that he was easily signing up clients in the health care and energy sector for a 501(c)(4) nonprofit to run ads that year. The implication was clear: not only could businesses hire him to lobby, but they could dump money in his nonprofit to take down candidates who support reforming and regulating their industry.


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