The Senate Office of Public Records has posted 2008 second quarter filings by lobbyists, which are required under federal law. They show that April, May, and June were fairly slow months in Washington for World Wrestling Entertainment.
WWE’s main lobbyist, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP (lawyer Jerry McDevitt’s firm), reported spending on behalf of the company in the amount of $10,000 during the second quarter. (The number is a good-faith estimate, rounded to the nearest $10,000, of payments by the client to the lobbyist for lobbying activities.)
“Specific lobbying issues” are noted as “Representation relative to Congressional investigation of performance enhancing substances in professional wrestling.”
A second lobbyist, APCO Worldwide Inc., reported second-quarter income from WWE of less than $5,000.
On February 27, Congressman Bobby Rush, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, said, “The number of deaths in the professional wrestling ranks is startling to say the least. The tragedy of Chris Benoit has been well documented. I want to assure Mr. [Vince] McMahon that this committee fully intends to deal with the illegal steroid abuse in professional wrestling. And we hope he will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
Rush spoke at an omnibus hearing of the heads of major sports leagues and their players unions. McMahon, also invited to attend, was the only one to decline, citing a scheduling conflict for lawyer McDevitt. Rush said he was “exceptionally and extremely disappointed” by that.
But the subsequent decline of WWE lobbying expenditures, from an estimated $70,000 in the first quarter, suggests that there has been no follow-through on the House committee’s tough talk.