Lobbyists reported spending $105.6 million to influence government decision-making during the first half of the year, the smallest amount recorded in the last five years, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics said today.
Total compensation paid to lobbyists was similar to prior years, they spent significantly less on advertising, according to the commission. Lobbyists spent a total of about $3 million in the first half of the year, compared with nearly $8.2 million for the same period last year. Total compensation was about $93 million in both periods.
Top spenders for the period included Altria, which owns PhilipMorrisUSA and other companies ($1.6 million); teachers’ unions; Major League Soccer ($842,233); and health-care associations. The new Friends of Democracy (New York) ($824,056) group and Genting New York, a gaming company ($709,500), also were in the top 10, the agency said.
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, which has offices in White Plains, reported $5.3 million in total compensation and expense reimbursements received — the highest of any organization. Greenberg Traurig LLP, which also has White Plains offices, received $3.1 million in compensation and expense reimbursements. New York State United Teachers spent $1.6 million, and the United Federation of Teachers spent $1.1 million.
The figures come from data submitted to the state by lobbyists, their clients and public corporations covering lobbying activities. Registered lobbyists and public corporations have to file bi-monthly reports of their lobbying activities for each client. Clients have to file lobbying expenditure reports twice a year.
As of June 30, there were 5,846 individual lobbyists in New York representing 3,288 clients, according to the commission.