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CGMC leads in lobbying costs

ST. PAUL — An organization representing Greater Minnesota cities continues to lead spending of local government lobbying groups.

State Auditor Rebecca Otto’s office reports that the latest information, for 2013, shows the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities spent $835,674 on lobbying activities during the legislative session that resulted in a two-year, $39 billion budget funded by state taxpayers. The coalition is coordinated by a Twin Cities law firm that provides lobbyists for the group.

The second-biggest spender was the League of Minnesota Cities, which used $628,945 on lobbying. Most members of the coalition also pay dues to the league.

The only other organization to spend more than $500,000 was the Minnesota School Boards Association.

Flaherty and Hood law office in St. Paul received $894,740 from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and others who hired the firm to lobby state officials. That almost doubled the next highest-earning lobbying organization.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.