Lobbying groups vex both sides of the political aisle. While many decry their influence in Washington, they can perform important advocacy work for special interests and causes. Quite often the employees of lobbying firms are ex-staffers from the Hill. With deep connections in the halls of Congress, it's no surprise that lobbyists are well-equipped to sway the political elite in their favor.

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, this trend has been no different. The lobbying arms of existing corporations and industries have already demonstrated their power of persuasion with a flood of campaign contributions. According to data from Politico and The Washington Post, the following lobbying groups spent the most money during the FEC's first quarter.

The right-leaning Chamber of Commerce leads our quarter one list while the American Hospital Association rounds out the top 10. Google, GE, and American Electric Power were the only corporations to make the list.

In quarter two (displayed below), Boeing moves to an impressive third place with over eight million dollars of lobbyist spending. General Electric and the American Medical Association doubled its spending while Google fell out of the top ten entirely.

See a further breakdown of all the spending in the 2016 race--like which industries and cities are donating the most--in our exclusive money race tool!

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