They say in politics, money doesn't just talk, it screams. If so, in Cook County there’s a whole lot of voices yelling at the top of their lungs.
Cook County Clerk David Orr has released a report saying that while lobbyists contacted Cook County officials less in 2013, the number of lobbyists and their compensation was higher than any year since online filing began.
Orr’s office said 190 registered lobbyists were paid more than $2.8 million in 2013 to help influence elected officials on issues ranging from the 2014 budget to Section 8 housing, a solid waste ordinance, the county’s new land bank and more.
The 190 lobbyists worked for a total of 164 firms, including All-Circo, Inc, which took home $1.1 million, Fletcher, O’Brien Kasper, which bagged $204,500 and Thomson Weir, LLC, which netted $168,000.
Orr noted the 2013 figure was an increase over the $2.4 million for 2012, and a 32 percent increase from 2011, when lobbyists’ compensation in Cook County totaled nearly $1.9 million.
“These reports show that the amount of money paid to lobbyists has been increasing each year, as has the number of companies using lobbyists,” Orr said in a statement. “This data, searchable by anyone including taxpayers, reporters and watchdogs, shines a light on just how pervasive lobbying activity is, as lobbyists contacted officials nearly 1,000 times about important issues that are of interest to their clients.”