August 27, 2015
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.
|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|
|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|
|Great Lakes Educational Loan||1||$2,200||$2,200|
|American Family Life Insurance||2||$4,154||$2,077|
|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|
|American International Group||11||$18,000||$1,636|
|Madison Community Health Center||15||$21,750||$1,450|
|Astellas Pharma US, Inc.||13||$18,473||$1,421|
|Takeda Pharmaceuticals America||10||$14,100||$1,410|
|Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition||24||$33,300||$1,388|
|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|
|Town of Windsor||20||$25,000||$1,250|
|Public Finance Authority||26||$30,000||$1,154|
|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|
|United Migrant Opportunity Services||21||$21,000||$1,000|