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2019
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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 12.16.11
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

Your lobbyists at work

This year, 12,792 professionals lobbied for influence in the American capital, according to First Street Research Group in an analysis that tracks lobbyists. There are, by law, 435 voting members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators. That computes to 24 lobbyists for every elected representative of the people.

The top 30 listed by First Street collected over $200 million this year. I wonder: What the other 12,762 collect? The top 30 lobbyists each average 50 clients who shell out an average of $144,737 each for lobbying services. Former members of Congress or ex-Hill staffers are pull in the most money.

"Being an ex-member of Congress pays, and pays big: The average amount received by ex-members of Congress per client topped $178,000 in 2011, while ex-staffers received $147,526, and professional lobbyists brought in $108,076," the analysis reveals. "Ex-members are selective about whom they represent, and their clients pay accordingly."

Uber-lobbyists include former Democratic Sen. Victor H. Fazio, now a senior adviser at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, proprietor of Breaux Lott Leadership Group, the report says.

"Lott left the Senate in December 2007 and opened his lobbying firm a month later with a former like-minded colleague and fellow 'First Street 30' member -- Louisiana Democrat John Breaux. It has become one of Capitol Hill's powerhouse shops, pulling in nearly $8 million in just its first year."

See the First Street 30 report: http://firststreetresearch.cqpress.com/2011/12/13/first-street-30-revealed/

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