MADISON, WI – The Forest County Potawatomi Community spent $1.1 million in the first half of 2010 lobbying state lawmakers, nearly twice as much as the next-largest spender, according to a report from the Government Accountability Board.
Overall, lobbying organizations reported spending $17.7 million in the first half of 2010, and $53.9 million for the entire session thus far, a 12 percent increase from the comparable period of the previous legislative session.
The first-half 2010 report analyzes the activities of 770 lobbying principals and 749 registered lobbyists.
"Wisconsin has a strong lobby law which requires that the public has ready access to information on the amount and sources of money used to influence legislation," said Kevin J. Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Government Accountability Board. “The Board’s Eye on Lobbying online database allows the public to keep track of lobbying activities at the Capitol without leaving home.”
The two most-lobbied bills in the first half of 2010 were the global warming bills, AB 649 SB 450, which were not passed. Lobbyists spent 14,324 hours on those bills. The third-most lobbied bill, AB 138 dealing with the appointment of the secretary of the Natural Resources Board, received 1,088 hours of lobbying effort.
The Top 10 Lobbying Organizations so far in 2009-2010 Session have been:
- Wisconsin Education Association, 10,462 hours, $2,143,588
- Forest County Potawatomi Community, 2,194 hours, $1,916,892
- Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, 1,933 hours, $957,802
- Altria Client Services Inc., 1,593 hours, $840,206
- Wisconsin Hospital Association, 6,738 hours, $819,671
- Wisconsin Medical Society, 5,747 hours, $697,296
- Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, 6,986 hours, $680,055
- Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Assn., 1,936 hours, $625,946
- Wisconsin Energy Corporation, 2,477 hours, $572,567.
- Wisconsin Independent Businesses Inc., 10,972 hours, $561,474
The full report is available on the Statement of Lobbying Activities and Expenses Summary page. online at the G.A.B. website. Use the award-winning “Eye on Lobbying” website to search the lobbying database.
By law, any organization that compensates an individual to lobby state government on five or more days in a six month period must register and file reports with the Government Accountability Board, which posts them on online in a searchable database. Organizations report their lobbying activities two ways: real-time reports within 15 days of when they begin to lobby on a specific bill or issue, and six-month reports detailing the hours and dollars spent lobbying. In Wisconsin, lobbyists are forbidden by law to give meals, entertainment or other gifts to state lawmakers, and campaign donations are limited to specific windows of time outside the normal legislative session.
Reid Magney, public information officer, 608-267-7887
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