Lobbyist Disclosure

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Lines Blur When Lobbyists Invest in Industries They Represent

December 26, 2013
Wall Street Journal

Many Washington Insiders Hold Investments That Overlap Responsibilities

By Brody Mullins, James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus

Carol Andress, a lobbyist at the Environmental Defense Fund, has met with top government officials advocating a clean-air approach likely to help natural-gas companies.

Ms. Andress also is an investor in stocks that could gain from such policies, which the Obama administration has largely adopted.

New Obama Adviser Brings Corporate Ties

December 12, 2013
NPR

By ERIC LIPTON

WASHINGTON — The defense contractor Northrop Grumman gave money to the left-leaning Center for American Progress, founded by John D. Podesta, as the nonprofit group at times bemoaned what it called the harmful impact of major reductions in Pentagon spending.

Pacific Gas and Electric sent in a donation as Mr. Podesta championed government incentives to promote solar energy and other renewable sources that the California company buys more of than nearly any other utility.

Insiders get special access to event tickets

November 16, 2013
Chicago Tribune

Politicians among those that can move to head of the line

By Andy Grimm and Joseph Ryan, Chicago Tribune reporters

Kelly Bailey was so blown away by Pink's recent Chicago concert that she hopped online to nab tickets to the star's Wednesday show at Rosemont's Allstate Arena. But the 30-year-old speech pathologist couldn't stomach paying scalper markups online — again.

SIU president: Lobbyists crucial to protect school interests

September 1, 2013
Belleville News Democrat

By BRIAN BRUEGGEMANN — News-Democrat

Southern Illinois University has spent more than $2 million on lobbyists since 2000, an expense the university president says is essential and worthwhile.

The university system, including the Carbondale campus, Edwardsville campus, dental school and medical school, has spent $2.17 million on lobbyists since 2000, according to figures obtained by the News-Democrat under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Poor use of tax dollars (Editorial)

August 25, 2013
Belleville News Democrat

It's difficult to put a price on clout, but the Madison County Transit District sure is trying.

It has hired former U.S. representative Jerry Costello as a consultant. And so begins Costello's quest to parlay his years of public service into big, personal paydays.

Private lobbyists get public pensions in 20 states

August 25, 2013
Associated Press

By MICHAEL GORMLEY
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- As a lobbyist in New York's statehouse, Stephen Acquario is doing pretty well. He pulls down $204,000 a year, more than the governor makes, gets a Ford Explorer as his company car and is afforded another special perk:

Even though he's not a government employee, he is entitled to a full state pension.

Local governments pay millions to lobbyists; Costello earns $7K monthly

August 24, 2013
Belleville News Democrat

By BRIAN BRUEGGEMANN — News-Democrat

Local units of government in recent years have spent more than $2.7 million on lobbyists, including $7,000 a month now being paid to former Congressman Jerry Costello by the Madison County Transit District.

Costello, a Belleville Democrat, said public transportation is "something that I've always worked for," and noted some of his accomplishments in that area, such as being instrumental in bringing light-rail to the region. He said that's one reason he wants to work for MCT.

Local governments split on hiring lobbyists

August 10, 2013
State Journal Register

By Doug Finke (doug.finke@sj-r.com)
The State Journal-Register

In 2011, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform issued a study that looked at local government units that hired their own lobbyists.

At the time, about 140 local governments were paying more than $7 million to hire lobbyists. Four local government units from the Springfield area were on the list compiled by ICPR, including the city itself.