Campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures from 1998 to September 2004 by the three primary U.S. communications sectors -- broadcasting, cable TV and telecommuications -- amounted to $1.1 billio

Campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures from 1998 to September 2004 by the three primary U.S. communications sectors -- broadcasting, cable TV and telecommuications -- amounted to $1.1 billion, according to a new study released today (Oct. 28) by the Center For Public Integrity.

Campaign contributions during the period were $145.6 million. Total lobbying expeditures were more than $957 million. Traditional telephone companies like Verizon and AT&T spent far more than did broadcasters and cable companies. President Bush got more campaign contributions than challenger John Kerry, but on the Hill, Democrats got 56.19% of the manna; Republicans, 43.17%. General Electric, which owns 80% of NBC Universal, was the top lobbying spender, followed by Verizon.

Behind Bush and Kerry on the list of recipients of the most communications dollars is Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., who received $951,000. He is followed by former House Majority Leader (and passed-over Presidential hopeful) Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., at $940,000. Freshman Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D.-N.Y., was next on the list, with $920,000.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, came in fifth at $905,000.

The Center also found lawmakers who oversee the industries were treated to 450 industry-funded trips valued at $704,229 from 2000 through March of 2004. Retiring Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, R-La., former chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, racked up 87 junkets, more than double than those bestowed upon his closest rival, Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., who sits on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.