A Big Stash of Campaign Cash in Marijuana for Paul

With weak polling and lackluster fundraising, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is struggling to stay in the 2016 presidential race. So far, some of his strongest financial supporters have come from a new, growing industry: legal marijuana. As of Sept. 30, Paul’s second-biggest contributor is the National Cannabis Industry Association, a D.C.-based trade group that lobbies Congress on behalf of state-legal marijuana businesses. Since it was founded in the later part of 2010, the association has spent $200,000 on lobbying.

Top Lobbying Spenders Pull Back, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Is Tops

The top 10 lobbying spenders in the third quarter of 2015 reported paying lobbyists about $23 million less than the second quarter’s top 10 spenders did, the latest records show. In the second quarter, the top 10 spenders reported nearly $89 million in outlays, compared to almost $66 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 — a drop of about 25 percent.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s acquisition of SABMiller Brews Strong Lobby Combo

Regulators parsing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s planned acquisition of SABMiller are dealing with two companies that have for years spent millions fighting battles in Washington.

The agreement, announced last week, would create a mega-brewer with sales more than three times as large as Heineken’s, the next closest competitor. Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller will probably have to sell off some of their assets to get regulatory approval, the New York Times reported. But even after selling assets, the merged behemoth would account for an estimated 30 percent of beer sales worldwide.

Podcast: Memorial Bridge Taps Tide To Light, Monitor Itself

Roger Wood Indepth Podcast: Memorial Bridge project

For the first time in history, the Piscataqua River will be harnessed for electrical power generation.

A small-scale turbine will be installed on one of the bridge piers. Its purpose, says Ann Scholtz of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, will be to provide power for sensors and lighting on the two-year-old rebuilt bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

Scholtz told Roger Wood that some 250 sensors will continually monitor traffic, the environment, and the structural condition of the span. It’s called the “Living Bridge Project,” and is now at a preliminary design stage.