It's finally out.... the Common Cause "Connect the Dots Report" on lobbyists that I've been working on for months. It's available on Common Cause New Mexico's web site at commoncause.org/nm. Follow the links there for the whole report. It answers the question: how much influence do these hired guns-- their clients, their contributions and their generous entertaining --have on the actual outcome of legislation.
We look at four examples involving the clout of oil and gas, agribusiness, bankers, trial lawyers and New Mexico spaceport lobbyists.
Here are a few tidbits:
- Six top lobbyists in the NM legislature have 20 or more clients
- 26 former legislators are now lobbyists
- Lobbyist have spent three-quarters of a million dollars feeding, entertaining, and giving gifts to candidates for state office, over the past year and a half
- Representatives opposing a bill to regulate oil and gas operations received three and one half times more contributions than those voting for it
- Two thirds of oil and gas contributions to legislators come from companies based outside New Mexico
- Special interests representing bankers and lawyers spent heavily on key committee members to block legislation over several years.
Many thanks to Viki Harrison, Jarrett HInes-Kay and Jonas Armstrong who all worked on this.