Lobbyists to Congress on Valentine’s Day: Will You Be Mine?

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Hershey Co.’s chocolate kisses.

A portion of the money that sweethearts spend on Valentine’s Day will help companies that sell candy, flowers and cards spread their own love around Capitol Hill.

Bloomberg Government analyst Peter Brusoe examined the lobbying costs of companies expected to do a booming business today:

Who doesn’t love chocolate? The Hershey Co. spent $1.2 million last year lobbying on sugar, peanut and dairy programs.  Mars Inc. spent $2.6 million to express its views on commodity price supports and cocoa sustainability. And Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, spent $3.5 million on issues including the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Dinner? The National Restaurant Association, which pushed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, spent $2.7 million on lobbying in 2012.

Flowers? The Society of American Florists spent $272,625 lobbying on issues such as pesticides, port security and small-business loan programs.

And Hallmark Cards Inc.’s $220,000 in lobbying costs included discussions of federal taxes.

For those valentines who have already tied the knot, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy spent $100,000. Its issues included hiring marriage and family therapists at the Pentagon and provisions in spending bills dealing with mental health parity issues.

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