|JCOPE releases list of highest paid lobbyist, biggest spending lobbying groups for first half of 2015. WEMED and Coalition for Opportunity in Education top lists of most money.|
| Text of press release.|
JOINT COMMISSION ON PUBLIC ETHICS RELEASES MID-YEAR LOBBYING DATA
Education advocates and labor groups head list of top spenders; nearly $131 million spent on lobbying in first half of 2015
ALBANY (October 15, 2015) – The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”) today released lobbying data for the first half of 2015 which shows that $130.9 million was spent on efforts to influence government decision making in New York State. The education investment incentives act tax credit, the cap on charter schools, and the “421-a” real estate tax program generated heavy spending by multiple groups.
The highest total spending for the period came from the Coalition for Opportunity in Education, which reported approximately $5 million in lobbying expenditures. Also among top spenders on education issues were New York State United Teachers, Families for Excellent Schools*, and the United University Professions union. Other than the Greater New York Hospital Association, the remaining groups in the top 10 spenders were coalitions representing labor and real estate developers, lobbying on New York City’s 421-a affordable housing production program, which provides a partial tax exemption for developers of certain residential buildings. The groups making up the top 10 spent more than $23.4 million on lobbying activities for the first six months of the year.
Of the approximately $131 million in total lobbying spending for January through June of 2015, approximately $101 million was spent on compensation to retained and in-house lobbyists, and $30 million in advertising, events, and other expenses. The top 10 professional lobbying firms received more than $35.3 million in total compensation and reimbursed expenses, led by Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP, which received $5.5 million. The largest amount paid by a single client to a lobbyist was $531,000, which was paid by outdoor advertising company JCDecaux North America to Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
These most recent figures come from data submitted to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics by lobbyists, their clients and public corporations, covering lobbying activities from January 1 through June 30, 2015. Registered lobbyists and public corporations must file bi-monthly reports, including the amount of compensation and reimbursed expenses for lobbying activities that were received during the previous two months. For clients of lobbyists, filings must be submitted twice a year with details about what was spent on lobbying during the previous six months, including how much of that money was spent on advertising.
As of June 30, 2015, there were 5,602 individual lobbyists reported on lobbyist registrations in New York State, representing 3,448 clients.
JCOPE will also update its publicly-available sets of the complete data filed by lobbyists, their clients, and public corporations to include reported information from the first half of 2015. The data will be available on Friday, October 16, and will be found here.
Below are tables which highlight the data for the period.
Top 10 Lobbying Entities (Total Expenditures) for January through June 2015
(Based on figures reported in 2015 Client Semi-Annual and Lobbyist Bi-monthly Reports as of September 14, 2015)
COMPENSATION & EXPENSES
COALITION FOR OPPORTUNITY IN EDUCATION
NEW YORK STATE UNITED TEACHERS
NEW YORK CITY AND VICINITY CARPENTERS LABOR MGMT. CORP.
STUDENTSFIRST NEW YORK ADVOCACY, INC.
PUTTING NEW YORKERS TO WORK
*FAMILIES FOR EXCELLENT SCHOOLS ADVOCACY, INC.
*FAMILIES FOR EXCELLENT SCHOOLS, INC.
GREATER NY HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
UNITED UNIVERSITY PROFESSIONS
GREATER NY LABORERS-EMPLOYERS COOP. AND EDUCATION TRUST
Top 10 Retained Lobbyists (Total Compensation and Expenses)
January through June 2015
(Based on figures reported in 2015 Lobbyist Bi-Monthly Reports as of September 14, 2015)
WILSON ELSER MOSKOWITZ EDELMAN & DICKER, LLP
BROWN & WEINRAUB, PLLC
BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC
JAMES F. CAPALINO & ASSOCIATES, INC.
PARK STRATEGIES, LLC
GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP
HINMAN STRAUB ADVISORS, LLC
MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP
PATRICIA LYNCH ASSOCIATES, INC.
¬ Families for Excellent Schools Advocacy, Inc. (a 501(c)(4) exempt organization) and Families for Excellent Schools, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) exempt organization) each separately register and report lobbying activity to the Commission.