44 billion in 2011 up from $1.44 billion in 1998, the number of lobbyists have on the same note increased from 10,406 in 1998 to 12,193 in 2011(Center for Responsive Politics, 2011). Several billions of additional dollars were also spent on the state level in lobbying(Center for Responsible Politics, 2007). Between 1998 and 2010 the top three sectors and their total spending on average are, the finance, insurance, and real estate sector having spent $4,274,060,331 representing 14.53 percent of the total spending, second is the health sector spending $4,222,427,808 representing 14.53% of total spending, third is the Misc business sector representing 14.11%. The energy and natural resources sector lie fifth representing 10.55% lobbying spending. The lobbying community drowns political candidates in campaign contributions. The financial sector invested in excess of $5 billion in political influence purchasing in the United States in the last decade. The financial sector alone spent more than $1.738 billion in the central federal elections between the period 1998-2008. In the 1998 election cycle, Democrats took above half of the financial sector's contributions. This predominantly reflected the balance of power over this period as about 55 percent ended up with the Republicans while the remaining 45 percent went to the Democrats. . Lobbying Expenditures and Contributions.
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