Lobbying in Cook County, Illinois

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Cook County has spent at least $779,990 since 2008 on government sector lobbying with contracts with 9 lobbyists.

Taxpayer-funded lobbying is the use of public funds by governments to influence other levels of government. Counties, for example, will pay lobbyists to influence the state or the federal government. This type of lobbying is often not disclosed to constituents. Counties hire lobbyists on a contractual basis, have lobbyists on staff, or join groups which promote or oppose legislation on their behalf. Lobbyists also help counties seeking specific projects or appropriations.

The county board votes on whether they will approve a bid or contract during their meetings.[1] The county seems to have representation from Richard Boykin on the national level, but Sunshine Review did not receive further information regarding this contract.[2]

Lobbying in Illinois

Lobbyist Year Amount
Cecelia Hylak-Reinholtz 2009 $24,999
Morrill and Associates 2009 $65,000
Morrill and Associates 2008 $65,000
Miguel Santiago 2008 $24,999
Miguel Santiago 2009 $24,999
Thomas Walsh 2009 $24,999
Thomas Walsh 2008 $49,998
Eugene M. Barnes 2008 $24,999
Gregory L. Cox 2009 $24,999

Morril & Associates advises the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, as well as the Board.[3][4] The lobbyist also gives guidance to the Committee Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations. This guidance includes:

  • Legislative monitoring
  • Research analysis
  • Legislative expertise
  • Recommendations on legislation affecting the county

The lobbyist represents all offices and agencies which are a part of Cook County or Forest Preserve District government and operations before the Illinois General Assembly.

Miguel Santiago represents the Cook County Board Commissioners. He represents the county before the Illinois General Assembly.[5]

Thomas Walsh represents the Cook County Board before the Illinois General Assembly, the offices of Illinois' constitutional officers and state agencies and departments.[6]

Eugene Barnes,[7] Gregory L. Cox,[8] and Cecelia Hylak-Reinholtz[9] consult the county and represents it before the Illinois General Assembly and other agencies and departments in the state.

According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, the following Cook County departments also lobby the state of Illinois in 2008 and 2009:[10]

Office Lobbyist 2009 2008
Cook County Clerk David Orr Kreloff, Michael $58,120 -
Cook County States Attorney Gerardo de Jesus Reyes, PC $20,833.30 $45,833

Federal lobbying

Lobbyist Year Amount
Susan White 2008 $99,999
Susan White 2009 $125,000
Gregory M. Gill, Venable 2009 $125,000
Barnes & Thornburg 2008 $99,999

Susan White represents the county. Her firm sends a report every six months summarizing the firm's actions on behalf of the county before the U.S. Congress.[11][12][13][14] She has represented the county for over 10 years.[11]

Gregory M. Gill coordinates legislative initiatives with the county on behalf of Venable LLP. The consultants advice the Board officials on legislation and its possible impact on the county.[15][16][17] The lobbyist represents the county before the U.S. Congress.

Barnes & Thornburg represent the county before the U.S. Congress.[18]

In 2008, Cook County reported $200,000 spent on federal lobbying.[19]


Susan White lobbied for the following issues before the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House in 2010:[20][21]

Emergency and security

  • Bioterrorism funds for localities for health providers and first responders
  • Flu pandemic preparedness
  • Homeland Security issues involving planning assistance, and direct grants for infrastructure

Health and welfare

  • Health reform
  • Restoring funds for Medicaid matching program (FMAP)
  • Restoring funds for Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital programs
  • The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)


  • Economic Stimulus legislation

Venable LLP also represented the county before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The lobbyist aimed to get funds for the county from the following legislative areas and departments in 2010:[22]

  • Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies for federal support for transportation projects for Cook County
  • Interior; Environment and related Agencies for federal support for park related requests
  • Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Bill for federal support for the health care related requests
  • Support for transportation requests from the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act

External links

See also