January 24, 2006

Lots of lobbyists in Albany

I just stumbled on this stunning bit of data in a New York Times article about new lobbying restrictions states are imposing:

In most capitals, lobbyists outnumber lawmakers by an average of five to one, the Center for Public Integrity found. Albany leads the nation, with 3,842 registered lobbyists, or 18 for every elected legislator.


The article goes on about New York's "modest steps" to deal with the effect of so many lobbyists:

New York, in an effort to curb the power of Albany's influential lobbying corps, is taking modest steps toward requiring more reporting of lobbyists' activities. An opinion by the state's Lobbying Commission last year interpreted the existing $75 limit on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers to apply to an entire year's spending, not per meal or per ballgame.

The state also closed a loophole that exempted lobbyists seeking state contracts - rather than legislation - from registering with the commission. But the new rule is not yet being enforced, and it is not clear when it will be.

I wonder how many lobbyists we'll have total when those seeking contracts finally have to register too.

Posted by simon at January 24, 2006 11:33 PM in
Note on photos