Business groups spent $14 million lobbying Minn. legislators

  • Article by: RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 20, 2012 - 12:03 AM

Xcel Energy and Chamber fed the most into the $60M spent to influence legislators.

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potter101Mar. 20, 12 1:14 AM

OUTLAW IT!!!!

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jerat544Mar. 20, 12 5:14 AM

Why would a group of Oncology Physicians spend almost a million dollars? I wonder what favors they needed last year.

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comment229Mar. 20, 12 5:27 AM

Potter: you are exactly right and I don't care what group, business or unions or anybody else, it is just legalized bribery. A legislature should represent his constituency, and some, if not all, cannot resist the temptation(s) of lobbying. I have never seen so many politicians at all levels that are now being bought and sold and voting them out won't change anything. We need several amendments to the MN constitution, including term limits and anti-lobbying laws. Instead, we get proposed amendments that are designed to bypass the veto of the governor which have zero chance of passing and again, the legislators waste their time. And finally, you can also pass into law, a bill that cuts the state legislature in half for now. Now much money is spent on these people and their staffs?

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kobearMar. 20, 12 6:52 AM

So a single business spent as much as the Unions? And the Chamber spent almost as much as the Unions. And the oncologists spent.... I thought the Unions had too much money and power.

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marv62Mar. 20, 12 7:39 AM

ALL LOBBYING SHOULD BE BANNED!!!! Our elected officials should be representing their constituents and not whom ever shells ou the most money. To those of you that are always commenting on how union lobbying is corrupting politics (union pales in comparison to big business). We now know that big business is spending much, much more. It doesn't make lobbying right but it does shed light on why the GOP is so hell bent on wiping out the middle class. Big business has bought and paid for most of the GOP's votes.

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unionsrockMar. 20, 12 7:55 AM

It's funny that pro-business people complain about union lobbying. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

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overlandMar. 20, 12 8:08 AM

The Xcel numbers probably include not "just" $$$ spent at legislature, but also for appearing before PUC in rate cases, Certificates of Need and/or routing cases, which are deemed lobbying in Minnesota.

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checkfactsMar. 20, 1210:28 AM

Lobby money is influence money. It is directly used to buy legislative influence and votes. The fact that it is banned while the legislature is meeting ought to tell you something. Too bad the article didn't report on legislators who take the most lobby money. That will tell you something too. Ban it

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fjohnsone42Mar. 20, 1210:29 AM

If big business only represents a quarter of the spending, who gave the other 3/4's? Businesses usually spent on both sides of the aisle whereas unions spend on the person signing their checks.

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ankapolMar. 20, 1212:49 PM

Most people don't understand that at a certain threshold, everyone who testifies at the capitol is a lobbyist. If you spend too many hours or too many dollars now you owe detailed reports. Same is true of everyday citizens, testify and make copies, at some point that would be an expense that is reportable.

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