Lansing lobbying expenditures flat in 2010

LANSING -- Reported Lansing lobbying expenditures totaled $31,811,476 in 2010, according to figures compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports filed with the Michigan Department of State. That amount is down by $38,440, or one-tenth of a percent, compared to 2009 figures.

After robust growth of 43.7 percent between 2001 and 2008, from $23.8 million to $34.2 million, lobbying expenditures dipped by 6.8 percent from 2008 to 2009. Last year’s spending figures remain less than those of 2007.

The top six spenders in 2010, and eight of the top ten, were multi-client firms. Leading spenders among the multi-client firms were Governmental Consultant Services, Inc. ($1,279,804), Kelley Cawthorne ($1,151,760) and Karoub and Associates ($1,041,575).

The Michigan Education Association ($488,250) and Michigan Health and Hospital Association ($387,093) were the top-spending interest groups on the list, at seventh and eighth, respectively.

The greatest increases in lobbying expenditures by interest groups were reported by the Detroit Institute of Arts, up by $173,587, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, up by $170,614, and the Michigan Credit Union Action League, up by $152,101.

The biggest decrease reported by an interest group was the 50 percent decline reported by AARP, from $539,111 to $279,134.

The biggest spender among new lobbying registrants was Alcatel-Lucent at $145,505.

“Michigan lobbying reports reveal less than those required by the federal government and several other states,” said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “The multi-clients report their client list, but they don’t report how much they spend representing each of them. And nobody is required to report travel spending less than $725 on behalf of a lobbyable official. Those are important gaps in disclosure that should be corrected by the legislature.”

Reported Michigan Lobbying Expenditures, 2001-2010

2010: $31,811,476

2009: $31,849,916

2008: $34,167,777

2007: $32,153,832

2006: $30,204,626

2005: $29,633,289

2004: $27,119,649

2003: $26,609,024

2002: $23,295,129

2001: $23,777,305

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