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ESA Tops $1 Million In Lobbying For Q3

ESA Tops $1 Million In Lobbying For Q3 Exclusive

October 20, 2008 | By Alex Litel

October 20, 2008 | By Alex Litel
More: Console/PC, Exclusive

The Electronic Software Association spent $1,090,000 on federal lobbying in the third quarter of 2008, according to quarterly lobbyist disclosure filings with the House Clerk's office obtained by Gamasutra.

In the period from July to September 2008, the industry trade group spent $980,000 on direct efforts and an additional $110,000 for the services of two lobbying firms.

Although the $1,090,000 figure appears higher than last quarter's widely-reported $980,000, it's actually a decline of $27,500 -- because last quarter's numbers failed to include similar spending on lobbying firms working on the ESA's behalf, to the tune of an additional $137,500.

Past reports on ESA lobbying efforts have actually underestimated spending, according to new figures. The $980,000 figure for the second quarter does not include $50,000 spent by Jenner & Block on the ESA's behalf, a $50,000 contribution from Smith-Free Group, and a $37,500 contribution from TeleMedia, making the actual Q2 total $1,117,500.

Q1's $714,364.50 figure is also buttressed by contributions by the same companies in the same amount, bringing it to $851,864.50.

The ESA's filing cites activity in both chambers of Congress on internet, immigration and telecommunications issues, and throughout Washington at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Copyright Office, the Federal Communications Commission, and other organizations on trade, copyright and constitutional matters.

Filings for the two firms used by the ESA -- Jenner & Block LLC and The Smith-Free Group -- show that their efforts were almost exclusively focused on the Senate: the former on general constitutional and copyright issues, while the latter targeted specific legislation including the recently passed PRO-IP Act.

Thus far in 2008, the ESA has spent more than $3 million on federal lobbying -- originally thought to be more than the association has ever spent in an entire calendar year prior, though Gamasutra's new calculations put total 2007 spending at $3.37 million.

However, year-over-year comparisons will be unable to be made until the release of fourth-quarter disclosure filings in January, as firms and organizations were only required to submit semiannual disclosures prior the beginning of this year.

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