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Lobbying in Lake County, Illinois

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Since 2004, Lake County has spent $1,039,525.29 on government sector lobbying. This includes contracts with two lobbyists and membership in four government sector lobbying associations.

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.

Lobbying in Illinois

Lake County employs the services of two lobbying firms. Lake County pays Kolkmeier Consulting for Illinois state legislative services.[1] It pays an annual retainer in monthly installments. The firm specializes in issues relating to Lake County and "collar" counties.

Firm Year Amount
Kolkmeier Consulting 2010 $48,068.07
Kolkmeier Consulting 2009 $45,779.04
Kolkmeier Consulting 2008 $43,599.15
Kolkmeier Consulting 2007 $41,523.00
Kolkmeier Consulting 2006 $40,314.00
Kolkmeier Consulting 2005 $39,140.00
Kolkmeier Consulting 2003 $38,000.00

Federal lobbying

In 2006, Lake County reported $80,000 spent on federal lobbying.[2] Ferguson Consulting represents the county before the federal government.[3]

Firm Year Amount
Ferguson Group 2010 $16,666.66
Ferguson Group 2009 $99,999.96
Ferguson Group 2008 $99,720.80
Ferguson Group 2007 $98,325.00
Ferguson Group 2006 $97,493.76
Ferguson Group 2005 $95,000.04
Ferguson Group 2004 $14,666.66

Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations

Main article: Illinois government sector lobbying associations

The county pays for membership dues in government sector lobbying associations through the General Fund, under "County Board Dues and Subscriptions."[4] Lake County belongs to at least four associations:

Association Year Dues
Lake County Municipal League 2010 $2,800.16
Metro Counties of Illinois 2010 $15,750.00
Lake County Transportation Alliance 2010 $10,000.00
Lake County Municipal League 2009 $2,800.16
Metro Counties of Illinois 2009 $15,750.00
National Association of Counties 2009 $12,414.00
Lake County Transportation Alliance 2009 $10,000.00
Lake County Municipal League 2008 $2,554.04
Metro Counties of Illinois 2008 $15,750.00
National Association of Counties 2008 $12,414.00
Lake County Transportation Alliance 2008 $10,000.00
Lake County Municipal League 2007 $2,393.72
Metro Counties of Illinois 2007 $15,750.00
National Association of Counties 2007 $12,414.00
Lake County Transportation Alliance 2007 $10,000.00
Lake County Municipal League 2006 $2,377.07
Metro Counties of Illinois 2006 $15,750.00
National Association of Counties 2006 $12,414.00
Metro Counties of Illinois 2005 $15,750.00
National Association of Counties 2005 $11,039.00
Lake County Municipal League 2004 $2,371.00
National Association of Counties 2004 $10,738.00

The county may belong to more associations. The scope of the FOIA Sunshine Review sent was too burdensome for a complete accounting.[6]