Monday, August 23, 2010

Lobbying Lowdown

There was an unnoteworthy story waiting for me on Google News this morning.

Air traffic controllers spent $171K lobbying in 2Q

”The National Air Traffic Controllers Association spent $171,000 on federal government lobbying in the second quarter on issues including pay and funding for air traffic control and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The union for air traffic controllers also lobbied on the consolidation and realignment of air traffic control facilities. Besides Congress, the union lobbied the FAA, the Transportation Department and the White House.”

Perhaps “unnoteworthy” is a bit of an exaggeration. But I consider it “unnoteworthy” when compared to this:

Boeing spent $4.97M on lobbying in 2Q

”The lobbying bill for the April-June period was almost double the $2.6 million it spent during the same period last year and is up from the $4.06 million it spent in the 2010 first quarter.

Chicago-based Boeing has strong interests in both commercial aviation, which the government influences through the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as defense and space spending.”

Interesting. Let’s take some zeros off so the numbers will make sense (to me, at least.) NATCA spent $171 dollars. Boeing spent almost $5,000. Nearly 30 times as much. Lockheed spent over in $3,000 ($3.2 million) in the 4th quarter of last year.

Anytime anyone wants to outlaw lobbying, I don’t think unions will have too big of a problem with it. I know I won’t, anyway.

Don Brown
August 23, 2010

No comments: