Connecticut government sector lobbying
This practice is controversial because public funds are spent to lobby for an agenda not subject to direct approval by voters, and outcomes may be contrary to taxpayers' benefit.
Stamford city administration was forced by the Board of Representatives to re-examine a proposed agreement with The Ferguson Group in 2010, which has been representing Stamford in Washington for several years. Stamford's earliest record of a lobbying contract with The Ferguson Group is a five-and-a-half-month interim agreement for $73,328 in 2006, DiMartino said. Between 2007 and 2010, the city spent $922,232 on federal lobbying services from the firm.
Lobbying in Connecticut
Stamford is one entity that has both federal lobbying representation and in-state lobbying representation. Stamford city officials awarded a one-year, $45,000 contract to a lobbying firm to represent Stamford's interests in Hartford for 2011.
Arguments for necessity of lobbyists
With Stamford potentially without a lobbyist for some months in 2011, a city official said lobbying is critical for the city. According to the city, its lobbyist has been instrumental in bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and funding to Stamford in transportation and environmental protection. City Representative Eileen Heaphy, D-8, believes Stamford needs the federal lobbying services The Ferguson Group provides. "Government today is very sophisticated and very big," she said. "You need to know where to push the right buttons and congressional staffs just aren't big enough to handle everything on their own. Lobbyists are a part of today's political process."
Arguments against lobbyists
Stamford city Representative Arthur Layton, R-17, voted against an in-state lobbying contract for the city. "I feel we have representatives who have been serving in Hartford for quite a bit of time, good people, people I respect. With the size of Connecticut government being what it is, I don't think we need to hire somebody else."
Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations
City and municipal
- Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
- Connecticut Council of Small Towns
- Connecticut Town Clerks Association
- Connecticut Association of Boards of Education
- Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
- Connecticut Association Public School Superintendents
- Connecticut Association of School Business Officials
- Connecticut Association of School Psychologists
- Connecticut Association of School Personnel Administrators
- Connecticut Federation School Administrators
- Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges
- Connecticut Association of Area Agencies on Aging
- Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers
- Connecticut Association Nonprofits
- Connecticut Library Association
- 2006 Connecticut General Assembly - An Act Regulating Municipal Lobbying
- 2007 Connecticut General Assembly - An Act Concerning Municipal Ethics And Municipal Lobbying
- 2008 Connecticut General Assembly - An Act Concerning Municipal Lobbying