Public Campaign has hit a PR trifecta, cashing-in on public backlash against corporate tax dodging, money in politics and lobbyist control over federal Washington. The non-profit group released a study last week, merging results from a corporate tax payment report compiled by Citizens for Tax Justice and one on lobby outlays by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The combined report found that 30 profitable companies shelled out more to lobby Uncle Sam than paid for federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010. That ranged from General Electric, which received a $4.7B in federal tax credits and spent $84M in lobbying, to Integrys Energy Group, which enjoyed $92M in federal rebates and paid $710K for lobbying.
Other big names on the list are PG&E Corp. ($1B credit, $79M lobbying), Verizon Communications ($951M, $52M), Wells Fargo ($681M, $11M), American Electric Power ($545M, $29M), Pepco Holdings ($508M, $4M), Computer Sciences ($305M, $4M), CenterPoint Energy ($284M, $3M), NiSource ($227M, $2M), Duke Energy ($216M, $17M) and Boeing ($178M, $52M).
Interpublic, striking a blow for the ad/PR sector, made the cut. It got $15M in federal rebates, while spending $1M for lobbying. Lobbying is a growth business, according to the report, as combined outlays for the 30 companies rose from $138M in 2008 to $203M last year.
Public companies, of course, lobby Congress for a raft of issues, not just tax breaks. Itís their right. The Public Campaign report, however, strikes a chord among those who believe the Big Business isnít paying its fair share vis-ŗ-vis the now famous 99 percent.
Speaking of money, Public Campaign receives funding from the Arkay Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Columbia Foundation, Compton Foundation, Inc., Copen Family Fund, Democracy Education Fund, Ford Foundation, Mitchell Kapor Foundation, Proteus Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Harold Simmons Foundation, Inc. and The Streisand Foundation.