Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 16, 2014

No, Germany Does Not Spend $12 Million On U.S. Lobbying

The Angry Arab links to a stupid piece by some Washington Post blogger which claims to expose Which foreign countries spent the most to influence U.S. politics? The presented result in the piece, also picked by the Angry Arab, is this:

Top 10 foreign governments paying for influence in 2013

1. UAE 14.2 million
2. Germany $12 million
3. Canada $11.2 million
4. Saudi Arabia $11.1 million
5. Mexico $6.1 million
6. Morocco $4 million
7. South Korea $3.9 million
8. Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb Republic) $2.4 million
9. Georgia $2.3 million
10. Azerbaijan $2.3 million

Source: Sunlight Foundation

The Sunlight Foundation database is filled with numbers from “foreign entities or their paid representatives reported to the Department of Justice for 2013.” Unlike the Washington Post it does not say that the payments are from "foreign governments" or "foreign countries". An "entity" is not a "government". The Washington Post author has sucked that from her toes.

As a German I found the list weird. The lobbying for Germany in the U.S. is done as it should be done by the German embassy and the consulates in various cities. Why would Germany spend additional money on some "hired PR"? The WaPo says:

Germany lobbied Congress on overseas military bases, presumably since several U.S. installations there are scheduled to be closed.

A two minute look at the database itself reveals that the list itself as well as the WaPo blogger are stupid. The database includes numbers of federal states and of partly government owned companies (foreign entities) that lobby for their business in the United States.

For Germany it lists a total of $12,008,299.34 but if one clicks down into the list one finds that the entities listed in total somehow up more than the $12 million:

  • German State of Rheinland-Pfalz - $149,956.00
  • Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce - $1,108,011.08
  • Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology - $1,474,329.90
  • Deutsche Telekom AG - $11,858,343.34
  • several others with no or little payments

There is simply no federal German government in there. There is the local state government of Bavaria lobbying for U.S. businesses to open new facilities in Bavaria. There is the state government of Rheinland-Pfalz which is the only entity that is spending a bit of money because of issues with U.S. military bases there. And there is Deutsche Telekom which spends about all the $12 million that the Sunlight Foundation categorizes for Germany and that pushes the country into the second place of the Top-10 list.

Indeed the sum the Sunlight Foundation presents on the mainpage for "Germany" is simply the sum of the Deutsche Telekom number plus the State of Rheinland-Pfalz number. The State of Bavaria and the industry lobby Chamber of Commerce are for mysterious reason listed in the details but not in the total.

Now the Germany federal government does own some 15% of the Deutsche Telekom shares and controls another 17% through a government owned bank. The privatization of the former national carrier is not yet complete. But Deutsche Telekom is hardly lobbying for Germany as a national entity. It is certainly not lobbying for U.S military bases in Germany. It is the holding company of T-Mobile U.S. which has some $25 billion revenue in the United States and Deutsche Telekom does of course quite a lot of lobbying to further its business interests and thereby that of all of its shareholders.

Given those numbers the Top-10 list of the Sunlight Foundation makes no sense. Germany is not paying for lobbyists in the United States. Not at all. Two of sixteen German states are paying but mostly for pure economic reasons. The inclusion of the Deutsche Telekom lobby payments makes no sense at all.

The Washington Post explainer for Germany being in the Top-10 list is "Germany lobbied Congress on overseas military bases". But that false claim is based on only $150,000 by one local German state government out of a total of $14.5 million mostly commercial stuff by commercial entities listed in the details. How is such wrong reasoning helping the reader? How is writing such compatible with even basic journalistic skills?

The Washington Post piece based on a somewhat irrational database by the Sunlight Foundation is not news but very stupid uneducated entertainment for and by people who do not have the brains or common sense to understand the world they are living in. It is another step the Washington Post and its writers take down on the ladder towards irrelevancy.

Posted by b on May 16, 2014 at 19:31 UTC | Permalink


A joke right? Israel isnt in the top 10? Yeah right.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16 2014 19:34 utc | 1

$12 million is chump change. The US Chamber of Commerce alone spent $74 million in 2013. And its membership spends many times that amount.

Given the insignificance of foreign lobbying, the story wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

Posted by: JohnH | May 16 2014 20:05 utc | 2

A joke right? Israel isnt in the top 10? Yeah right.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2014 3:34:03 PM | 1

Nope they aren't listed as lobby. Yes, they should be but then again their just spending Amerikan tax payers money.

The wp isn't known as the great job of telling the truth. A hit piece on Germany so they'll follow Amerika down the path of Stupid.

Posted by: jo6pac | May 16 2014 20:37 utc | 3

@jo6pac #3:

AIPAC was created for the purpose of allowing Israel's American lobby to avoid registering as the representative of a foreign country:

AIPAC is a spinoff of an organization already ordered by the DOJ to register as an Israeli foreign agent. In November of 1962 the American Zionist Council was ordered by the Attorney General to begin filing disclosures as an Israeli foreign agent under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. Six weeks later, former AZC employees incorporated the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, DC, taking over the AZC's lobbying activities. AIPAC did not register as a foreign agent.

A little bit of the history of US-Israel relations…

Posted by: Demian | May 16 2014 23:07 utc | 4

Its pretty well known among the observant students/researchers of world affairs that AA is a fucking, pathetic shill for special interests managed by intelligence services. Why would any reasonable and informed person give credence to his disinformation bits is beyond me. Good luck with analyzing that BEX.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 16 2014 23:51 utc | 5

The congress is pretty much owned by those a-hs:

Georg Brandes: War not fight for ideals but fight for concessions

In olden days when nations lived by agriculture they went to war to gain territory, to wrest land away from their neighbours. Now that the nations have become industrial states and are in reality ruled by financial oligarchies even if they nominally appear to have emperors, kings, or presidents, the purpose of war is no longer to conquer land or peoples but markets. Each nation wants a wider outlet for its products, greater investment for its capital. The real character of war today is not a fight for ideals but a fight for concessions.

Posted by: ProPeace | May 16 2014 23:55 utc | 6

' The Washington Post ... is not news but very stupid uneducated entertainment for and by people who do not have the brains or common sense to understand the world they are living in. '

That goes not only for Amazon, but for all the MSM. 'We' are not fooled, but we waste our time thinking of the putative 'others' who are. We attribute an influence to these house organs that is just not there.

It does seem true that there are folks who do just keep their heads down, keep plodding, keep 'hoping for the best'. And that they/we might seem to be influenced by these organs. But they/we would/will 'believe' anything these organs print or beam out to them/us. They/we are just trying to go with the flow, trying to get by.

There is no flow with which to go. That's the message of the medium is the message. All there is is our reluctance to act as individuals. Our fervent desire to be swallowed by the flood.

Posted by: john francis lee | May 16 2014 23:55 utc | 7

@jo6pac #3:
Posted by: Demian | May 16, 2014 7:07:56 PM | 4

Yes, I know then again amazing Sad

Posted by: jo6pac | May 17 2014 0:14 utc | 8

"But Deutsche Telekom is hardly lobbying for Germany as a national entity."

I do not know what is an intended audience of your piece, or who the readers are, but it is riddled with nonsense. One of the most foolish statements is one above.

All what you posted is reflection of one Western liberal, one who believes that the "economy" exists within itself, yet separated from "society". Typical capitalistic, so-called free market view and ideology. Accordingly, DT is created by entrepreneurs in Germany who has nothing to do with ruling class! And than DT spread over, to the US, as result of free-market ideology.

You want us to believe that Rheinmetall AG of Germany who is manufacturer of 120mm canon for US Abrams tank is also result of free-market mechanism and NOT of (geo)political affiliation and long term connections of ruling class of two countries/Gov. Supposedly...CEOs of companies (such as Hekler and Koch, are just uninterested observers of current events?

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 17 2014 0:43 utc | 9

One of those non-story "controversies" to sidetrack people's interests away from verboten subjects. Abortion and gay rights serve similar roles in the USA when things get "hot and heavy" for the poligarchy. Great opportunity for some advertisement for the usual MSM, too - a bit of controversy never hurt ratings and advert income in the entertainment industry. :)

Posted by: scalawag | May 17 2014 1:18 utc | 10

I want to know how much WE pay dual Israeli/US citizen neocons in government every year. I'll bet its more than 12 mil, and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they influence US policy more than Germany. And then there's the spying, or "60 years of stealing nuclear and commercial secrets".

Posted by: Colinjames | May 17 2014 2:46 utc | 11

b. your tiptoeing around fact is quite funny. You have a blind spot here.

There is the state government of Rheinland-Pfalz which is the only entity that is spending a bit of money because of issues with U.S. military bases there.

Fact is the government of Rhineland Palatinate has been lobbying the United States to keep their military bases, as they mean jobs and business for the population.

Telekom lobbied for a merger of T-Mobile with MetroPCS. T-Mobile also seems to have treated employees abysmally in the US and fired whistle blowers on their customer practices. So money will have been spent there as well.

Posted by: somebody | May 17 2014 7:25 utc | 12

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 16, 2014 8:43:20 PM | 9

You are - of course - correct. The German state (who owns KFW Bank) has a blocking minority in Telekom AG.

This here is Germany's weapons industry.

"Growth doesn't come from Europe anymore," says Stefan Zoller, head of Cassidian, a defense company that is an offshoot of EADS. Defense budgets in Europe are stagnating, Zoller explains, and the biggest opportunities are to be found in the Middle East, India and Brazil. Over the next decade, Cassidian hopes to double its sales volume to €12 billion. At the moment, a quarter of the company's sales are generated outside Europe, and it expects this figure to rise to 40 percent in the near future.

What is the name of this Hindu nationalist, elected in India? Definitively good for business.

Posted by: somebody | May 17 2014 7:51 utc | 13

It is interesting that 8th placed entity. Plagued by poverty and extremely high unemployment rate (just as is the case with rest of former Yugoslavia republics) that entity is spending money on PR. Appointed by the CIA/USAID and now lead by neo-fascist so-called president (who is seen by the Russian as protector of Serbians in Bosnia) who amassed enormous wealth (with help of IMF, i.e. US Treasury) is a case how an empire "manage barbarians" - in a words of Zbigniew Brzezinski. He is essentially plagiarist, there is nothing new in his celebrated book that many like to cite, his book are reworked thesis of Halford Mackinder, Heinrich Himmler “When handling foreign people in the East we will have to take care as much as possible to recognize different kinds of people and to promote them (…) I would like to add that we not only have great interest not to unite these people from the East, but on the contrary, to split them in as much as possible into more small pieces.” and Goering.

Collusion - willingly or unwillingly - between the Russians and the American is again seen in nowadays in Ukraine. The exact same scenario, with the exact same outcome. The US quintessential a Nazi, from its inception, minded system in clash with resurgent pan-Slavic Russia in a quest for its imperial status.

Name of the game is: how to play out an innocence over somebody else bodies and wealth. Very good piece of Michael Hudson on that topic

Republica Srpska wouldn't not survive 24 hours without money from the US Treasury, nor whole Bosnia - and many others. What do they do with money? They recycle it back to Washington where it is originated.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 17 2014 11:06 utc | 14

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 17, 2014 7:06:50 AM | 14

It is the Austrian empire recipe that blew up everyone in the First World War (well, Germany, Russia and the Austrian Empire).

Austria/Germany/US supporting/inventing/fuelling local nationalism as an antidote to Serb/Russian nationalism.

Posted by: somebody | May 17 2014 11:25 utc | 15

310;Talk about diversions,every MSM has stories about LGBT and women's rights all over the place lately.And we all know the target;Russia and their anti pedophilia legislation which any normal person should applaud,instead of the championing of gender and sexual wars of division.Divide and conquer,and America,at the moment is Vercingetorix(sic) at Caesars feet.

Posted by: dahoit | May 17 2014 13:40 utc | 16


It could be...but just one of the reasons, but not the major one. Most likely British Umpire was the major culprit of mayhem, just like everywhere else. In wake of dissolution of the Sick Man of Europe they saw its chance on Balkan, West Asia thus alliance with Zionists etc.

“Austria/Germany/US supporting/inventing/fuelling local nationalism as an antidote to Serb/Russian nationalism.”

Well, it is not antidote, it is a tool, an imperial tool, in hand of US/EU to establish themselves as a mediators. But mediation is benign word in this case means keep parties far away from each other, like in Syria. US/EU is runs by ultra-extremists such as Kerry, Biden and NATO mouthpiece Rasmunsen, EU's Ashton et al.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 17 2014 17:39 utc | 17

"The Springtime of the Nations" was a British policy, launched and managed by Lord Palmerston, I believe, in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, which established a reactionary status quo in the strong states and a deliberately cultivated ferment of nationalism in the weak ones. The trademark unit of this ferment, comparable to the "Color Revolutions" of today, was the "Young Europe" movement, which far from being a unifying idea was a deliberately divisive one. "Young Hungary", "Young Greece" and even "Young Serbia" movements were aimed, obviously, against the Ottomans. They were organised primarily through masonic or pseudo-masonic secret societies. Garibaldi is a typical example of the period, but more murky by far was Giuseppe Mazzini, who operated as a sort of power behind the throne for all the local, on-the-spot masonic groups, circulating multiple bogus manifestos alleging a supra-masonic grand council which would unify them all, but obviously aiming only to fractionate south and south-east Europe even further.

The invention of bogus nationalities also dates from this period: nations which had only existed previously in the minds of poets and antiquarians suddenly became urgent political demands. All of the above from memory alone, so many corrections will doubtless be in order, but as Webster Tarpley would say, you get the picture. Talking of Tarpley, an ex-Larouchean, I think that just last week he recalled in his radio show a symposium organised in 1994 by the German Larouchies, which explored all this and was conducted under the umbrella title, "Palmerston Zoo". Record of the offerings by the various participants do still exist on the web, and they are full of curious information, but of course I completely reject their characteristic claim that Karl Marx was a paid agent of Palmerston's Foreign Office. Having entered that caveat, the "Palmerston Zoo" documents are here, for people who enjoy that sort of thing:

I can't get the Schiller Institute on the web right now, but that's where the stuff is. There is also a 222-minute video of the entire proceeding on YouTube, here:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | May 17 2014 18:00 utc | 18

17) they all used colonial policies setting people against each other in proxy wars, Britain, the Ottomans ...

The Russian Plot to seize Galicia (Austrian Ruthenia) Published by the Ukrainian National Council, Jersey City, N.J., 1915

"the attempted Russification of Galicia under the late occupation of that province ..."

nothing new under the sun ...

Western Ukrainian Russophiles

Western Ukrainian Russophiles (Ukrainian: Pусофіли, Rusofily) were participants in a cultural and political movement largely in the Western Ukraine. This ideology emphasized that since the people of Galicia (Halychyna) were descendents of the people of Kievan Rus' (Ruthenians), and followers of Eastern Christianity, that they were thus a branch of the Russian people. The movement was part of the whole Pan-Slavism that was developing in the late 19th century. Russophilia was largely a reaction against Polish (in Galicia) and Hungarian (in Transcarpathia) cultural suppression that was largely associated with Roman Catholicism.

Nationalism in Galicia and Imperial politics

And there is this Ukrainian peasants revolt against Polish landowners called Galician slaughter, supported by Austria when same Polish landowners tried a revolt.

Nuland had quite a few role models to chose from.

Posted by: somebody | May 17 2014 18:37 utc | 19

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