The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics regulated $210 million in state and local lobbying last year and took enforcement actions that brought in more than $450,000 in penalties, according to its 2013 annual report released today. In 2003, compensation for lobbyists totaled $120 million.
The commission’s report also touts the implementation of “significant disclosure requirements that, for the first time, revealed details of outside income reported to the Commission by State officials.”
Compensation for in-house and retained lobbyists reached an all-time high last year of $191 million, the annual report said. The biggest spenders included the tobacco industry, teachers’ unions, hospital groups and a top public employee union. Spending on advertising for lobbying campaigns dropped sharply for the second year in a row, to $4.8 million.
Lobbyists’ top client was Altria Client Services Inc. — the parent company of Philip Morris USA — and its affiliates, which spent $3 million. United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers weren’t far behind, spending $2.6 million and $2.2 million, respectively.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics’ activities for the year included the review and administration of more than 40,000 lobbyist and client filings and contracts; the review of more than 200 potential investigative matters; the resolution of 15 enforcement actions generating the $450,000 in penalties; and processing more than 27,000 financial disclosure statements filed by state officials and employees in the executive and legislative branches.
The commission developed a two-hour ethics training course that 23,000 state employees completed.
These are the top lobbyists. No. 1 — Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP — has an office in White Plains.