In a record year for hotel lobbying, Marriott outspent the competition


Airlines weren’t alone in spending record money lobbying Congress in 2008. The hotel industry also threw an unprecedented amount of cash at elected representatives, according to new numbers released by

The lodging industry spent more than $9 million lobbying elected representatives last year. The largest single donor was Marriott International, which gave $869,206 — about 75 percent of which went to Republicans. The American Hotel & Lodging Association, the trade group for the hotel industry, came in second place. It gave roughly half that amount, with more or less the same breakdown between Republicans and Democrats.

Here’s the full chart:


Democrats shouldn’t feel neglected by the hotel industry. A breakdown of the recipients shows the top two candidates on the take from hotels were Democrats. Barack Obama’s campaign was given $681,875 by the hotel industry, followed by Hillary Clinton’s $446,508.

What does the lodging industry get for its money? Hotels rely heavily on immigrant labor, and have joined the growing debate on immigration in support of “guest workers,” non-citizens legally permitted to work in the U.S. temporarily. They’re also leaning on the government to promote tourism and loosen regulations that affect their businesses.

I guess we’re about to see if last year’s big investment will pay off.