GM spent about $8 million to $8.5 million on federal lobbying each year from 2003 to 2006, lobbying records show. Then, as things turned dramatically southward for the company, lobbying spending exploded, jumping 64 percent in 2007 to $14.6 million. Last year saw another big jump. Chrysler ramped up its lobbying at a steadier pace. From $3.1 million in 2001, it progressively rose to $7.1 million in 2007. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital bought Chrysler in 2007 and spent $7.9 million on lobbying in 2008.
The details of these lobbying surges are telling.
Ten days after Barack Obama was elected president, GM added lobbying giant Covington & Burling to its lobbying platoon. Specifically, GM hired the firm’s heavy hitter, Stuart Eizenstat.Eizenstat has worked in every Democratic administration since Lyndon Johnson....
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