“The nature of their core activity is recession-proof,” said Marcus Owens, a partner at Caplin & Drysdale, a Washington law firm, and former director at the Internal Revenue Service, where he oversaw cases on tax policy and nonprofits. “Even in a recession, the government continues to make decisions.”
The analysis showed a significant gender gap on compensation, with the four female CEOs on the list of 30 executives trailing their male counterparts by more than $1 million in base pay, incentives and deferred compensation.
The four women in the group took home on average about $1.43 million in total pay, compared with the $2.48 million pocketed by the 26 men. That means they earned 57 cents for every dollar paid to their male peers.
The industry groups were ranked by the amount they spent on lobbying in the first three years of the Obama administration. That list captures trade groups that have spent more than $17.5 million influencing policy in Washington since 2009.
Lobbying expenses grow
As lawmakers debated the president’s health-care proposal, expenditures from the 30 largest trade lobbies reached $663 million in 2009, compared with $449 million spent the year before. Spending slowed to $586 million in 2010 and $420 million last year, according to an analysis of data from the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.
Former lawmakers who have walked through the revolving door into Washington lobbying have fared best as a group.
The 10 retired officeholders on the list who served in their jobs over at least two fiscal years between 2008 and 2010 earned total average compensation of $2.72 million. This subgroup includes eight former members of Congress and two retired governors: Frank Keating, 68, of Oklahoma, and John Engler, 63, of Michigan.
Billy Tauzin, a Republican former congressman from Louisiana, led all trade group heads with $11.6 million in total compensation in his last year at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a 152 percent jump from 2009. His base salary constituted $1.11 million of that total.
Ranked just behind Tauzin, 68, in total pay were two executives who haven’t served in office: Jack Gerard, 54, who earned $6.4 million at the American Petroleum Institute, and the Chamber’s Thomas Donohue, 73, who took home $4.75 million. Gerard’s 2010 salary was 49 percent higher than his pay for the previous year, and Donohue’s salary jumped 27 percent over the same period.
Engler, who served as president and chief executive of the National Association of Manufacturers before taking his current position as president of the Business Roundtable last year, says high salaries are justified.