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“The minute people stop asking for our money, we may all say, ‘Hallelujah’ ” Mr. Marlowe said.

A separate measure showed that while the DNC totals were always only a tiny chunk of the money to Democrats, any effect the ban had on contributions from lobbyists seems to have dissipated.

The DNC still can take money connected to government relations firms from former lawmakers turned “consultants,” spouses of lobbyists, and others working in the influence industry who do not register as official lobbyists.

Independent tallies from the Center for Responsive Politics, which researches donors and their families, suggest that after a post-ban drop-off in which $109,000 connected to lobbying firms made its way to the DNC in all of 2009 and 2010 combined, the firms are back to their old ways.

Through September this year, $138,000 connected to lobbying firms had gone to the DNC, compared with $123,000 to the RNC - more than any other nonpresidential year in memory.

PACs rally with Republicans

The companies and unions that pay lobbyists to sway legislators also contribute to politicians directly through political action committees they control, and their contributions significantly outweigh those of the lobbyists’ personal dollars.

The PACs of groups that lobby showered Democrats with dollars in 2008 and 2009, even though many of the businesses behind them would have preferred to see Republicans in charge. But they were quicker to turn on the Democrats as they were poised to lose their grip on Congress, giving more to Republicans on both the Senate and House sides in 2010 and so far this year.

The result of an increase in enthusiasm from business PACs accompanying the Republican revival coupled with many lobbyists’ continued loyalty to Democrats is that groups that pay lobbyists and the lobbyists themselves have contributed more to political parties in the first half of this year than they have during that period of any other year after 2008, according to disclosures filed by lobbying firms to Congress.

All of the favors from those with material interests in certain legislation have been doled out even as Congress is on track to pass the fewest bills in years.

“There are numerous proposals to raise taxes, cut taxes, launch a new stimulus, cancel spending from the last stimulus and overhaul entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security,” said Bill Allison, an analyst on government influence at the Sunlight Foundation. “In a dysfunctional Congress, lobbyists have to go to greater lengths to protect their clients’ interests, let alone advance legislation that benefits them.”