Both sides heavily armed in airwaves fight

By Laurie Bennett

October 28, 2011 at 11:50am

A lobbying battle in Washington is starting to resemble a high-priced, bitter divorce in which each party tries to all the ruthless lawyers in town to prevent the other spouse from hiring them.

LightSquared, which is seeking government approval to use airwaves for high-speed internet services, has paid 13 lobby shops more than $1.5 million this year.

Trimble, a maker of global-positioning system technology, counters that the LightSquared project will disrupt GPS services. It employs four lobby firms, led by Akin Gump, and has spent more than $1 million.

Connections are highly valued - and high priced - on both sides of the debate.

The lobby shops working for LightSquared have 15 former members of Congress working for them. (Our map also shows former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Obama bundler Kenneth Jarin, who are both partners at Ballard Spahr.)

On Trimble’s side is former Congressman Vic Fazio of Akin Gump. The map also includes Bradford Parkinson, a director and investor in Trimble who sits on the National Space-Based PNT Advisory Board, which advises government on GPS.

For more on complaints about Parkinson’s role, see the National Journal.

For a better view of connections and a broader canvas to move and expand the players, see our large map.

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