More than a thousand companies and trade groups spent $173.5 million lobbying on the 2008 farm bill, according to a Food & Water Watch analysis of data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The report says that special interests hired "an army" of well-connected lobbyists, including 45 former members of Congress, at least 461 former congressional or executive branch staffers and a "host of K Street firms."
In 2007, the report says, nine of the top 10 firms in town lobbied on the farm bill, including Patton Boggs, Akin Gump and Barbour, Griffith & Rogers.
Broken down by issue, farm policy, which includes commodity programs and conservation crop insurance, accounted for nearly 50 percent of farm bill lobbying expenditures. Accounting for 13 percent was energy and biofuels, followed by rural development at 10 percent, Commodity Futures Trading Commission at 6 percent and tax issues also at 6 percent. Nutrition, research, trade and food aid, and forestry round out the list with single-digit expenditures on '08 farm bill lobbying.
News of the Food & Water Watch analysis was first reported in the Hagstrom Report.
Read the report here.