The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire notes a study on lobbyists' donations to Capital Hill:
Public Citizen: The Bankrollers: Lobbyists’ Payments to the Lawmakers They Court, 1998 - 2006, Congress Watch, May 2006: Introduction Lobbyists and the political action committees of their firms have contributed at least $103.1 million to members of Congress since 1998.This figure is more than 90 percent higher than what is reported by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which has been the most authoritative source to date, because this study’s methodology cast a wider net to capture lobbyists’ contributions. (The methodology ... is discussed in detail in Appendix II.)...
- Lobbyists have given more than $100 million to members of Congress since 1998.
- The percentage of lobbyists making personal contributions is small.
- Just over 6 percent of lobbyists account for more than four-fifths of the money lobbyists have contributed to members of Congress since 1998.
- Just 0.2 percent of lobbyists account for than 13 percent of the money lobbyists have contributed to members of Congress since 1998.
- Lobbyists’ contributions are on the rise.
- Lobbyists’ have given more to Republicans than Democrats since 1998.
- Thirty-six members of Congress have received a half-million dollars or more from lobbyists and their PACs since 1998.
- Many lobbyists give heavily to both parties.
- Some former-members-turned-lobbyists become big contributors.
- Several big-donor lobbyists raised $100,000 or more for Bush or Kerry.
- Personal contributions from lobbyists are just the tip of the iceberg.
Here's an interesting table from the report:
Click on figure to enlarge
The study also lists the largest donors and recipients. Washington Wire says:
The highest ranking lobbyist-donor on Public Citizen’s Top Ten list is Stewart Van Scoyoc, whose firm specializes in appropriations. Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in January guilty to trying to bribe lawmakers — but still ranked 30th in the Public Citizen study.