• Eileen Aj Connelly, AP Business Writer
The 10 banks that received the most bailout aid during the financial crisis spent over $16 million on lobbying efforts in the first half of 2010, as the debate over financial regulatory reform reached its height.
Disclosure reports show that the banks that got the most government help in late 2008 and early 2009 also invested the most to influence members of Congress, the White House, the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and a long list of federal agencies as new rules were enacted governing Wall Street and the nation's financial system.
"I'm not shocked that they spent that much money because I saw them every day," said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at U.S. Public Interest Research Group, who said more than 2,000 lobbyists worked on the financial reform bill
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