Most industries see a huge payoff from money invested in lobbying. To wit: firms that pushed for a tax holiday in 2004 saw a return-on-investment of 22,000 percent. But as Dave Levinthal hilariously points out in an excellent post at the Capital Eye Blog, this is not the case for the San Diego Chargers.
According to Levinthal, the Chargers top the list of the NFL's biggest political donors, contributing a collective $2.4 million to political candidates and committees since 1990. Yet this sad team has been to only one Super Bowl in 43 years. And they lost that game.
The NFL's lobbying activity has been on the rise in recent years, with lobbying expenses on track to reach $1.4 million this year. That well exceeds the league's previous lobbying record of $1.15 million in 2007.
The league now employs two full-time lobbyists in Washington who work to influence issues such as media policy, illegal gambling, and performing-enhancing drugs.
Runner-up to the Chargers are the Houston Texans for contributing more than $623,000 during the last 20 years. About 20 of the league's 32 clubs have contributed more than $100,000 to political candidates.
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