Pacific Research Institute Releases New Study on Government to Government Lobbying

Pacific Research Institute Releases New Study on Government to Government Lobbying

The Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a free-market think tank based in California, released a breakthrough study on taxpayer-funded lobbying, or government to government lobbying.

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Pacific Research Institute Releases New Study on Government to Government Lobbying

Connecticut has best lobbying transparency, New Hampshire has worst

San Francisco, March 10, 2009 – Today the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a free-market think tank based in California, released a breakthrough study on taxpayer-funded lobbying, or government to government lobbying. State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers: How Much Do We Really Know? by author Jason Clemens, PRI director of research, ranks state lobbying disclosure laws and accessibility.

“The public’s anxiety about the role and influence of special interests has heightened over the last few years,” said Mr. Clemens. “While private sector lobbying has been highly-scrutinized, public sector — or government to government lobbying — has largely fallen under the radar. Understanding government to government lobbying is especially important because it’s funded by taxpayer dollars, and given that many states are suffering crushing budget deficits, it’s critical that taxpayers know how their dollars are being spent.”

The study finds government to government lobbying is by-and-large not held to the same disclosure and regulation standards as private-sector groups. “Competition among private-sector lobbyists and requirements to disclose information impose discipline and accountability, but many public-sector lobbyists aren’t subject to these pressures.” he said. “The public sector should not be given preferential treatment and require coherent, consistent and transparent disclosure of lobbying activity to the public.”

Lobbying Disclosure: The Best and the Worst

The study undertakes a state-by-state evaluation of lobbying transparency by measuring state disclosure laws and access to disclosed information. Using composite scores, State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers ranked the 50 states:

Top 5
1. Connecticut
2. Indiana
3. Texas
4. Washington
5. Maine
Bottom 5
46. Maryland
47. Nevada
48. West Virginia
49. Wyoming
50. New Hampshire

“Overall there is a marked need for improvement in both the nature of lobbying disclosure laws and accessibility to the data for almost every state,” concluded Mr. Clemens. “As lobbying activity in our state capitals continues to grow, so should our effort to make this information public.”

State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers: How Much Do We Really Know? was authored by Jason Clemens, with Julie Kaszton, Karrie Rufer, and Laura Sucheski. To arrange an interview with Jason Clemens, please contact PRI’s Press Office at (415)955-6136 or kgorton@pacificresearch.org.

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Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.