Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Lobbying in Louisiana

My column this week discusses a recent report from the Center for Public Integrity concerning lobbying in state capitals across the country. The column begins, "Last week, the Center for Public Integrity released a report noting that money spent by state-level lobbyists across the country is nearing $1 billion. The report observes 'vested interests are working harder than ever to achieve their goals in state capitols and state agencies around the country.' Citing the existence of more than 47,000 such interests employing more than 38,000 people, the report figures that averages out to about five lobbyists for every state legislator nationwide." The report ranks all 50 states for the rigor of their lobbying regulations. Louisiana ranks 33rd. An article in yesterday's Times Picayune notes that one of Louisiana's many lobbying loopholes is about to close. This may lead Louisiana to a better ranking next time around.