Lobbies lobby lobbies, etc.

by on June 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm in Law, Political Science | Permalink

Washington’s cities, counties, ports, Indian tribes, public utility districts and school districts spent about $2.5 million lobbying state lawmakers during the regular legislative session — more than any other group.

That’s Washington state of course.  The details are here, and for the pointer I thank JS.

All the way down!

1 Bob June 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm

So lobbies representing the interests of ordinary people and Natives spend a lot of money… What’s so interesting about that?

2 Andrew' June 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Where did you see that?

I see the lobbies representing against the interests of the ordinary people.

3 Arjun June 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm

>Algona is a small town with an equally small dream: to build a community center. Located just south of Auburn, the community of 3,000 residents wants a stable location for its annual holiday social, Easter egg hunt and Halloween party.

Yeah, darn Big Small Towners, always mooching off the hardworking ordinary people!

4 Cliff June 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Yeah, because small groups sucking at the teat of larger less interested groups is not the classic example of rent seeking?

5 Bob June 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm

A sample size of one – namely, Algona – is not statistically significant. “Washington’s cities, counties, ports, Indian tribes, public utility districts and school districts” ends up being pretty much everybody.

6 Andrew' June 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

Only if you operate under, for example, the notion that “school districts” are everyone associated with the school. I don’t, of course.

7 Rahul June 21, 2013 at 2:19 am

So, corporate lobbyists represent the interests of the corporation but city / town lobbyists don’t represent the interests of their constituents?

8 Mike June 21, 2013 at 5:53 am

Sometimes the constituents are those who would get to do the construction and collect high “prevailing” wages. And even if they truly represent their people, it’s still rent seeking in terms of asking others to pay for it.

9 Bob June 23, 2013 at 7:06 am

Lobbying, almost by definition, is rent-seeking. But as long as there are countervailing powers, who cares?

10 AD June 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm

And who do you think is one of the biggest groups demanding earmarks from their members of Congress?

11 Rahul June 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm

This was hilarious:

“Located just south of Auburn, the community of 3,000 residents wants a stable location for its annual holiday social, Easter egg hunt and Halloween party. This year, officials decided to do something about it: They hired a lobbyist to ask state lawmakers for $125,000 to design a building. […]For $6 a person, if he’s successful in getting us that $125,000 in planning and design for this community center, that’s a real good return on investment,” said Mayor Dave Hill “

12 JWatts June 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Someone should tell the Mayor that it’s neither illegal nor immoral to have the city raise the money for their own project.

13 MD June 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Someone should tell JWatts that it’s neither illegal nor immoral for Auburn to lobby the Washington state legislature for the project.

14 Andrew' June 21, 2013 at 7:01 am

I don’t know, shouldn’t state money be used for state projects? Do they collect more money than they can use for state projects simply because they can?

15 mike June 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm

This is the evolution of redistribution – first from rich to poor, because social justice, now generally from politically unfashionable people to politically fashionable people. I suppose it would be fair to say that the former was really just a specific application of the latter, though. And the latter, in fact, is just a restatement of the general rule of feudalism which we are regressing to.

16 mw June 20, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Boy I sure hope one day I can be “politically unfashionable” to the tune of a $13Bn/yr carried interest tax loophole! I guess fashion’s overrated.

17 Chet Manly June 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm

The “general business” and “insurance” categories spent more than $3 million combined.

18 Bill June 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Even the American Association of University Professors, whose members include Libertarian economists, has a lobbyist.

Go to aaup.org and see if your institution is on the banned list.

But, you won’t know how much the Koch Brothers actually paid in lobbying, as it is free speech, or how much they spent in supporting “Think” tanks supporting their views..

19 JWatts June 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm

OMG, not the Kochtopuss!

20 Andrew` June 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm

At least it’s not jizanthapus.

21 derek June 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Do you have any interests in the State of Washington? I don’t, so I’m not exposed to the risk that my interests may be affected by legislative action. The Koch brothers do have interests, and from what I understand there are lobbies that would definitely like to infringe on their interests, if not take them away from them. They would be fools not to spend money to make sure their interests are represented to the legislators.

22 Rahul June 21, 2013 at 2:17 am

Why doesn’t that argument also apply to town of Algona? Wouldn’t it be a fool too to not have its interests represented?

23 Andrew June 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

So, what’s the political philosophy theory behind funds transferring between levels of government?

24 stubbs June 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

I think it is “never give a sucker an even break.”

25 Andrew' June 21, 2013 at 6:59 am

I tend to agree, but I also wonder how and why the Federal funding model works. Why don’t people just ask to keep their own money? Does it somehow spiral out of control? By fighting for your money back does that reinforce the…ummm, I can’t think of a better term than “circle jerk” somehow?

26 anon June 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm


27 Steve Plunk June 23, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Let’s not forget the resources expended by any state’s executive branch lobbying the legislative branch. The average citizen doesn’t have a chance against the army of government employees in the lobbying game.

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