Power Breakfast: Lobbying business is booming, City Hall East sale, SunTrust, BP, Apple vs. IBM

At a time when the economy has most industries hurting, the business of lobbying is booming, with the help of Atlanta-based companies including Coca-Cola and Southern Co., AJC staffer Bob Keefe reports.

Coca-Cola and its affiliated bottling companies, for instance, paid Washington lobbyists about $6.3 million in the first half of this year alone — double what they spent in the comparable period last year, according to public records.

The rise in spending on lobbyists by Coke and its affiliates coincided with a rise in legislation that could have affected the company, such as a proposed tax on soft drinks, new school nutrition guidelines and environmental legislation affecting water use, Keefe writes.

Southern Co., the Atlanta energy giant, is the biggest spender on lobbying from Georgia. The parent of Georgia Power spent $7.4 million on Washington lobbyists in the first half of this year, according to public records, on everything from fighting carbon cap-and-trade legislation to promoting nuclear power programs and other issues, Keefe reports.

Overall this year, spending on lobbying activities is expected to reach $4 billion by some estimates. That’s over $1 billion more than was spent in 2007, Keefe writes.

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3 comments Add your comment

I Now Pronounce You: "Barack & Larry."

October 19th, 2010
7:39 am

What Atlanta area “Bizness” is currently booming?

That would be the burgeoning “Smash & Grab” industry, staffed primarily by Obama Supporters
.

See, the “Great Community Organizer” is indeed creating jobs & opportunity for those who supported him.

Mandy Pinkpeach

October 19th, 2010
9:49 am

BP has approved the launch of its new BPCares website. In an effort to control the PR narrative and to blunt the aggresive pressure from the BPAMA, retail marketers and independent retailers…BP will fast track the launch of the BPCares website. The website is expected to show the oil giant as deeply concerned about the environment and its eco-friendly legacy.

The domains that BP owns are:

BPCares.com

BPCares.net

BPCares.org

BPCares.info

BPCares.us

BPCares.biz

It seems that BP is teaming up with Southern states websites in advance of the BPCares launch.

TnGelding

October 19th, 2010
3:20 pm

At first blush it’s obscene. But is the lobbying doing any good? Maybe that’s why big biz is sitting on $3 trillion in cash; waiting on the payoff if and when the GOP returns to power.