2021 has been a year of transition in New York State government and lobbying activities. From the first months of 2022, some signs of normalcy have returned. This is reflected in the extent of lobbying activities.
Total statewide spending on lobbying activities through May 2022 increased $24.1 million or 9.2% from the prior year. The 2021 total is down just one percent from 2019 before the pandemic. In the 2021 reporting year, through May 2022, a total of $292.2 million was spent on lobbying work in the state.
The most recent report, for the year 2021, was published by JCOPE on July 7e. JCOPE ceased operations, having been replaced by the new Commission on Ethics and Government Lobbying (CELG).
Here are some other highlights from the JCOPE report:
- Labor was the top focus among the ten biggest spending lobbying entities this year, including Doordash – the online food ordering and delivery platform – which appeared in the top ten for the first time, ranked ninth rank. The work was also a high priority for the other ten major entities, including the Greater New York Hospital Association (ranked #1), AARP (ranked #3), NYS Nurses Association (ranked #6), the NYS Trial Lawyers Association (ranked #7), and NYS United Teachers (ranked #8).
- The top ten lobbyists in 2021 were again led by Brown & Weinraub, PLLC, followed by Kasirer LLC and Bolton St. Johns, LLC. Rounding out the top ten in 2021 are Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Mercury Public Affairs LLC; Ostroff Associates, Inc.; Park Strategies, LLC; Hinman Straub Advisors, LLC; Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC; and James F. Capalino & Associates.
- Number of [lobbyist] registrations increased slightly from 5,740 in 2020 to 5,747 in 2021… In addition, the number of customers fell to 4,486 in 2021, a decrease of 3.9% compared to 2020. This could suggest that even though fewer clients lobbied in 2021 than in 2020, they paid more to lobby than they did the previous year.
- The number of SOEs registered and filed as lobbyists or having filed returns as clients of lobbyists increased slightly from 58 in 2020 to 59 in 2021, still significantly lower than the 76 that lobbied in 2019…Notably, the percentage of records reporting state and local lobbying increased to more than 40% in 2021, from 32.7% in 2020 and 13.5% in 2019. 62 % in 2019.
This blog has reviewed the list of businesses and organizations in Western New York that employed lobbyists beginning with activities in 2014 and continuing each year since then. You can use this blog’s search tool on the home page to search for posts from previous years. The financial reports published by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) have become less user-friendly in recent years. For example, the addresses of lobbyist clients, useful for identifying local organizations, are no longer published. The list of lobbyist clients is approximately 400 pages.
This post details the businesses, governments, and organizations based in Western New York that employ lobbyists or do their own lobbying work in 2021, continuing through reports in May 2022. Total business spending, identifiable local governments and organizations in 2021 were approximately $4 million. , a decrease of approximately $800,000 or 16% from 2020. As has been the case in recent years, local lobbying activity is led by the firm Masiello, Martucci and Associates, which registered 1,363 $000 of identifiable local billings last year. O’Donnell & Associates (OA) finished second with $638,754. E3Communications came third with $254,816.
It should be noted that lobbying firms with local connections are often retained by companies and organizations that do not have a base in Western New York. Western New York lobbying clients can add significant revenue to a company’s revenue.
A local angle previously unidentified by JCOPE is “Filings Ranked by Lobbied Parties”. The top 24 “parties under pressure” includes only six of the 213 state legislators. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who served in the Assembly for 52 years and is chairman of the busy Health Committee, comes in at number 10 on the list. Gottfried is retiring at the end of this year. Number 16 on the list is Senator Tim Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. A total of 715 contact records have been reported regarding Kennedy.
Kennedy is also high on another list maintained by a state agency. The Board of Elections reported in July that Kennedy had more than $2 million in his campaign cash, which is likely more than all other local state lawmakers have. combined in their campaign accounts. All of this points to the connection between lobbying activities and fundraising for the campaign.
Some companies and organizations represent themselves primarily in lobbying work and are noted without an identified lobbyist in the following list.
Here is the 2021 list of local lobbying participants:
Ken Kruly writes about politics and other things at Politicandstuff.com
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