Lobbying – the one recession proof occupation?

According to David Bernstein, in the Phoenix 25 million went to lobbyists on the record in 2009 which was a minor drop in totals.

Who were the big winners, well, per Bernstein:

In accordance with these shifting interests, there were winners and losers among the state’s top lobbying firms. One big winner was O’Neill & Associates, which topped $2 million in fees, easily leading all its competitors. Their biggest-spending client was a California investment firm, Levine Leichtman, which paid more than $200,000 to lobby the treasurer’s office for a piece of the state’s investment business. (Seemingly all for naught: a spokesperson for Treasurer Timothy Cahill says it has placed no investments with Levine Leichtman.)

Another big winner of 2009 was Travaglini, Eisenberg and Kiley – thanks to the end of former Senate president Robert Travaglini’s “grace period,” after which he could, and did, officially begin lobbying state government, to the tune of more than a half-million in fees.

There were others who did well, too.  If you are curious as to the reported lobbying fees/salaries of various lobbyists, this is lobbyist income by lobbyist, firm or client.  I did confirm that Robert Travaglini grossed about $500k in 2009 from lobbying, as well as being able to see the list of his clients.

I would expect all of these lobbying firms to potentially lobby against the inclusion of the legislature in all Open Meetings,

FOIA and procurement laws, though, as that kind of transparency might reduce their income.

Also, open debate in the legislature would increase voter power and decrease lobbyist clout and profits…at least potentially, given my look at which frims is employed by whom/what corporations, unions, etc.

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