First Street Research Group examined the lobbying connections of potential vice presidential candidates who are current members of Congress, including: Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.; Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
According to the First Street report, Rubio has gotten money from the largest pool of lobbyists. In 2011, 108 donated to the senator. Just behind him is Ryan, who received contributions from 97 lobbyists in 2011. And the contributions to Rubio and Ryan by-and-large come from different lobbying crowds; just 21 lobbyists contributed to both congressmen.
Thune and Portman received money from the fewest number of lobbyists even though they have the most direct ties to lobbyists when it comes to staff. Thune received contributions from 45 lobbyists in 2011, while 47 gave to Portman. Meanwhile, five former Thune staffers are now lobbyists, while four former Portman staffers work as lobbyists. A current Portman staffer was a Squire Sanders Public Advocacy lobbyist, and a current Thune staffer was a Biotechnology Industry Organization lobbyist.
Ayotte received contributions from 67 different lobbyists in 2011. She also has two current staffers who once lobbied, including her chief of staff who worked for Van Heuvelen Strategies.
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