Lobbying the Legislature: Who’s spending what?

Lobbying organizations reported spending close to $11 million dollars in 2010.
MinnPost photo by Terry Gydesen
Lobbying organizations reported spending close to $11 million dollars in 2010.

Campaign finance reports released this week document massive spending in Minnesota’s 2010 races — especially in the governor’s race where the campaign of Mark Dayton spent $5.3 million and Tom Emmer spent $2.8 million.

Underneath all of the election year spending there was also the steady drumbeat of workaday lobbying to influence the actions of Minnesota’s legislators, commissions, public officials, and county and city governments.

Data obtained from the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board details the efforts of hundreds of organizations to influence many layers of power in the state.

I’ll be drilling into the data here at The Intelligencer, beginning today with an overview of legislative lobbying. All told, lobbying organizations reported spending close to $11 million dollars in 2010.

At nearly $1 million, Minnesota Business Partnership spent more money than any other organization working to influence legislative action, which can include action by committees, subcommittees, resolutions, nominations, appointments, and even gubernatorial response to a bill. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce comes in a close second at $918,000 with Education Minnesota at a distant third at $700,000.

The data becomes a bit more interesting when organization spending is split up by category. All lobbying reports must include a breakdown of spending by category, such as media advertising, telephone and communications costs, staff salaries, even food and beverages.

Media advertising

Organization

Total reported 2010 Rank in total spending
Education Minnesota $447,345 3

AARP

$37,657 20
Lignite Energy Council $26,969 54

National Association of Industrial & Office Properties

$26,314 4

Minnesota Cable Communications Association

$19,971 96

 

Support staff salary and administrative costs

Organization Total reported 2010 Rank in total spending
Education Minnesota $174,404 3
Association of Minnesota Counties $173,300 9
National Association of Industrial & Office Properties $128,140 4
Association of Metropolitan School Districts $93,153 12
Minnesota Business Partnerships $73,255 1

 

Telephone and communications

Organization Total reported 2010 Rank in total spending
AARP $27,427 20
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity $25,000 69
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce $19,004 2
Minnesota Environmental Partnership $16,449 59
AFSCME Council 5 $8,897 19

 

Postage and distribution

Organization Total reported 2010 Rank in total spending
Coalition of Minnesota Businesses
$24,209 5
Minnesota Dental Association $7,418 86
Allied Charities of Minnesota $7,150 72
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce $5,346 2
Joint Religious Legislative Coalition $5,218 24

 

Food and beverage

Organization Total reported 2010 Rank in total spending
Minnesota Business Partnership $120,543 1
AFSCME Council 5 $54,732 19
Minnesota Nurses Association $42,334 26
Minnesota Association of Realtors $24,028 13
Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities $16,283 6
Source: Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 02/02/2011 - 11:19 am.

    So… the constant complaint on the part of our Revenant Republican would-be overlords that Education Minnesota was running the state capital in recent years…

    Was just a smokescreen for the FACT that the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce were actually the ones desperately attempting a (now largely successful) takeover with only Governor Dayton standing in the way of impoverishing the rest of us and de-funding our state’s physical, social, health, environmental and educational infrastructures in order to further selfishly and self-servingly pad their already overstuffed pockets.

    Of course they’ll soon sound just like the cranks in all of our own towns who complain the most loudly and bitterly about the pot holes on their streets while at the same demanding cuts in the very taxes that go to pay for repairing those pot holes.

    There is no logic in the desire of these fat cats to damage and destroy all the things that have enabled their businesses to be so successful here in Minnesota, but then again, these are wealthy Revenant Republicans and their sycophants, so money trumps logic each and every time the two come up against each other.

    Their solution: STOP TEACHING OUR KIDS LOGIC!

  2. Submitted by Rich Crose on 02/02/2011 - 12:24 pm.

    Where are the Anti-gay marriage DVD costs from the Catholic church? Where is the money Target and Best Buy gave to Pawlenty’s buddies?

    This doesn’t seem complete.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 02/02/2011 - 02:00 pm.

    Rich (#2)

    The Archbishop’s DVDs were supplied by an anonymous, wealthy donor, who also paid the postage.

    The Target and Best Buy donations went to groups like the Minnesota Business Partnership and Norm Coleman’s new nonprofit (I’m not remembering the name at the moment), who then donated it to campaigns without have to tell anyone where the money came from. (Send your thank you letter or a strong complaint to the Supreme Court that made the disastrous Citizens v. United decision.)

  4. Submitted by Molly MacGregor on 02/03/2011 - 07:12 am.

    Hey Jeff: Good piece, but tell us why you think splitting the spending out by categories is interesting. And, a clarification: your article is about what these groups spent lobbying the 2010 legislature, NOT campaign spending, right? How about a little more information about the groups – National Association of Industrial & Office Properties was No 4 on staff spending in MN – who they?? Looking forward to more!

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