LOBBYING REPORT…. PoliticalMoneyLine has just issued its first lobbying report for 2004 and reports that total spending for the first six months of the year was $1.06 billion, an increase of 38% since 2000. Obviously these guys are having no problem keeping up with inflation.

The top ten lobbyists are shown above. Three of them (GE, Freddie Mac, and Philip Morris) appear to be garden variety corporate lobbyists. Among the other seven, though, you’ll note the dead absence of anything resembling a liberal cause. In fact, unless I miss my guess, five of the seven are united in whole or part by a single topic: tort reform. No wonder it’s at the top of George Bush’s agenda this year.

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