Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lobbyists Everywhere (Cook Co. Edition)

Who’s the biggest lobbyist in Illinois? Many of us could guess, but there’s no way of knowing exactly. Illinois does not require lobbyists to disclose their billings, nor what actions they take on behalf of their clients. But some parts of Illinois do, and those can be interesting.

Cook County, for instance, requires disclosure of billings by lobbyists. The top lobbyists in Cook County are probably familiar to statehouse denizens: Michael Kasper and Courtney Nottage report the highest lobbyist billing in Cook County. But those figures reflect only billing for lobbing in Cook, not statehouse work, or other levels of government.

Today’s Trib reports on these numbers, courtesy of Cook County Clerk David Orr. It’s past time for Illinois to consider this kind of reporting for state lobbyists. And a measure like HB 5765 would be a good place to start.

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