WWE jump-starts lobbying in D.C., this time for literacy programs

World Wrestling Entertainment has recently revived its moribund lobbying activities in Washington-working this time to promote literacy programs, instead of to kill tighter entertainment marketing regulations.

WWE has long employed an advocacy firm in the nation’s capital. But for most of 2010, APCO Worldwide reported no activity on behalf of WWE.

In its most recent filings, however, covering the last quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, APCO says lobbyist Brian McLaughlin, a former Senate aide, has been working the Hill for WWE. The description of his mission is brief: “Advocacy of literacy programs.” WWE’s expenditures for each quarter were under $5,000, the reports say.

The question of WWE’s federal lobbying created some headaches for former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in her Senate campaign against Democrat Richard Blumenthal last year.

McMahon, then the GOP Senate nominee, said she hadn’t “spent any lobbying dollars in Washington,” but in fact, WWE had paid lobbyists to oppose tighter federal regulation of the entertainment industry’s ability to market adult content to children and to promote its voter registration initiative.