Matt Rothschild

$1,000 Per Hour Lobbyists Roam Capitol

WDC analysis finds 47 groups spent at least that lobbying legislators in Madison.

By , Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Aug 27th, 2015 01:35 pm
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Coal pile. Photo by Dave Reid.

Coal pile. Photo by Dave Reid.

Expensive lobbyists are roaming the halls of the Wisconsin Capitol. Some 47 organizations spent at least $1,000 an hour lobbying legislators in Madison in the first six months of this year, based on data supplied by the Government Accountability Board in its six-month lobbying expenditure report and analyzed by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

While the average rate for lobbying by the 718 organizations that registered with the state came to $150 an hour, the following organizations spent $1,000 an hour and up on lobbying (see table below).

The number one group, Wisconsin Infrastructure and Investment Now, says on its website that its mission is “to educate the public, elected officials and regulators on the societal and economic benefits of the responsible investment in, and expansion of, transportation facilities, renewable and traditional energy projects, mining and other infrastructure projects and to promote governmental policies that support such infrastructure investment and expansion.” It supported maintaining the prevailing wage law, which was one of the most heavily lobbied bills in the last session.

The number two group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, describes itself as “a partnership of the industries involved in producing electricity from coal.”

The number three group, Owl Eight LLC, is an architecture and interior design company based in Milwaukee.

It was impossible to figure out the hourly lobbying rate for a few of the organizations since they failed to list either the hours or the sum they spent lobbying.

Below are the organizations that listed zero hours lobbying but showed a dollar amount:

  • American Express: $25,500.
  • St. Croix Chippewa: $24,000.
  • T-Mobile: $24,000.
  • SC Johnson: $20,000.
  • College Board: $16,900.
  • Wisconsin Academy of Anesthesia Assistants: $6,000.
  • MTM: $3,000 (MTM is a company that manages non-emergency medical transportation.).
  • The Blood Center: $1,330.

The following three groups listed their hours on lobbying but said they spent zero dollars on lobbying:

  • Fresh Start: 67 hours
  • Medic FP-Wis: 21 hours
  • NSSTA: 15 hours

Fresh Start is a network of non-profit agencies providing employment opportunities and skills-building to youth offenders. Medic FP is a company that helps health-care firms prevent fraud. NSSTA stands for National Structured Settlements Association.

The biggest spending lobbying organizations during the first half of 2015 were the Milwaukee Bucks, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. To see the top ten spenders, go to the GAB press release summarizing its lobbying report.

Top Hourly Spenders on Lobbying Activities
January – June 2015

Lobbying Organization Hours Total
Spent
Spent
Per Hour
Wisconsin Infrastructure Investment Now 2 $329,180 $164,590
American Coalition for Clean Coal 3 $27,000 $9,000
Owl Eight LLC 22 $108,278 $4,922
Monsanto 8 $32,000 $4,000
Northern Natural Gas 6 $18,000 $3,000
Select Management Resources 18 $48,000 $2,667
American Resort Development Association 10 $25,501 $2,550
Milwaukee Bucks 208 $482,496 $2,320
Great Lakes Educational Loan 1 $2,200 $2,200
American Family Life Insurance 2 $4,154 $2,077
Wyndham 14 $28,200 $2,014
UnityPointHealthPhysPlus 24 $45,000 $1,875
Preferred Physicians Medical Risk 6 $10,770 $1,795
Robert W. Baird 46 $81,000 $1,761
Graymont Western Lime 23 $40,000 $1,739
Wisconsin Wine & Spirits 32 $54,303 $1,697
Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance 6 $10,177 $1,696
The Water Council 23 $39,000 $1,696
Healthport 7 $11,847 $1,692
American International Group 11 $18,000 $1,636
Carroll University 30 $48,000 $1,600
Cottonwood Financial 38 $60,750 $1,599
LKQ Corp 19 $30,000 $1,579
Madison Community Health Center 15 $21,750 $1,450
Astellas Pharma US, Inc. 13 $18,473 $1,421
HMS 18 $25,500 $1,417
Takeda Pharmaceuticals America 10 $14,100 $1,410
Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition 24 $33,300 $1,388
RAI Services 48 $66,025 $1,376
Marathon Petroleum LP 18 $24,750 $1,375
Wisconsin State Reading Association 10 $13,750 $1,375
Cigar Association of America 19 $25,600 $1,347
TDS 9 $12,000 $1,333
WEA Insurance 33 $42,347 $1,283
Town of Windsor 20 $25,000 $1,250
United Rentals 20 $25,000 $1,250
G Tech 4 $4,800 $1,200
Bridgepoint Education 31 $36,004 $1,161
Public Finance Authority 26 $30,000 $1,154
Wysocki Produce 51 $57,000 $1,118
Lilly USA 27 $30,000 $1,111
Teachers Insur & Annuity 23 $25,000 $1,087
National Associaton of Theatre Owners, WI/Upper Peninsula 14 $15,000 $1,071
Wisconsin Financial Services 11 $11,700 $1,064
Alkermes 29 $30,000 $1,034
Gulfstream Aerospace 30 $30,285 $1,010
DirecTV Group 9 $9,000 $1,000
DISH Network 9 $9,000 $1,000
United Migrant Opportunity Services 21 $21,000 $1,000
Matt Rothschild is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
Categories: Politics

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