According to a Sun-Times story over the weekend, lobbyists in Cook County billed their clients $1.3 million in the second half of 2009. That includes only work to lobby officials and agencies of Cook County. For the year, billings were $2.1 million. The top five lobbyists accounted for over half of the total.
Want to do the same sort of analysis of lobbyists at the state level? Ever wonder about people who hang out around the rail and how they rank? Tough. The state doesn't require lobbyists to file reports like that.
The public has a right to know what lobbyists bill their client in Cook County and at the federal level, but the State of Illinois does not give the public access to the same amount of information. It would take legislation to change that.