Who’s flexing their lobbying muscles at the Capitol?

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board released their report of 2011 lobbying activity today.  In 2011, a total of $59.4 million was spent by various groups lobbying the State Legislature on behalf of their interests.  That figure is in line with previous years — since 2005, lobbying spending has ranged between $54 and $62 million dollars.

For the fourth year in a row, Xcel Energy Services ($2.36 million) and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce ($2.06 million) are the top two lobbying spenders.

Of the top 25 lobbying spenders in 2011, 12 of the 25 are businesses or business associations, reflecting over $10 million in lobbying expense.  Labor interests hold five of the top 25 positions, spending $2.59 million.  Education Minnesota’s $500,000 in lobbying spending represented its lowest outlay in seven years and ranked it 13th on the list.  The AFL-CIO was the highest-spending labor group, spending $820,000, tying for fifth place on the list.

Government associations represented three positions on the list, totaling just over $2 million in lobbying expense.  The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities was the largest spender of these groups, also spending $820,000 in 2011.  Native American tribal interests also had three positions on the list, led by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and their $550,000 in lobbying expenses.


4 Responses to “Who’s flexing their lobbying muscles at the Capitol?”

  1. Another meaningless statistic. Why just pick the top 25? And each have different goals. Why the generic lumping? Do you imagine the Vikings and Excel have the same interests in mind. I see the Alliance for a Socialist Minnesota made the top ten. And yet this left wing outfit is merely classified as a non-profit. Or was it lumped in with the unions where it belongs?

    How is this different from previous years? I fully expect Xcel to be high on the list. They are likely the most affected by state regulations, second probably only in education. The difference is Xcel is a business, where education is a government service. I’m not a huge fan of government lobbying for more government, spending more of our money, to ask for more of our money.

    • The top 25 provided a clean break at $300,000 or more in expenses. It’s admittedly sort of a random selection, but going through the entire list would be time-prohibitive.

      ABM was classified with labor.

  2. Looking historically, it seems the labor unions are the ones flexing thier muscles. They seem to have the largest increase in dollars spent. Which makes sense when you consider the right to work battle going on.

    Of the various business interests, there are a wide variety of reasons for each, without common goals overall. Xcel is lobbying energy policy, the Vikings, for a stadium, the tribes over gambling revenue, oncology etc… There’s far too many interests here to lump all business as having a common goal.

    • I never said business had a common goal. I don’t think labor has a common goal either. Education MN has a different agenda than the trades, for instance.

      All the post tries to do is classify the top spenders into general categories.

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