By Evan Paskach | Minnesota State News
ST. PAUL — Organizations spent more than $59 million in lobbying expenses last year according to information released by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board today.
Topping the list was Xcel Energy at $2.36 million, followed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce at just over $2 million. The two were the only groups that broke the $2 million mark.
Rounding out the rest of the top five was the Minnesota Business Partnership ($980,000), the Minneapolis Radiation Oncology Physicians ($820,000) and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities ($820,000).
Several tribal and gambling related groups were among groups that spent more than $300,000. Canterbury Park also spent $460,000 on lobbying efforts.
Education Minnesota, the state’s public school teachers union, fell out of the top five in 2011, spending $500,000 in 2011 compared to $900,000 in 2010.
Several other unions were among the top spenders in 2011, including MN AFL-CIO ($820,000) and MAPE, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees ($300,000).
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a liberal advocacy group with direct ties to the Dayton Administration and Dayton family, increased spending in 2011 to $670,000, a huge jump from the $16,664 it spent in 2010 on lobbying efforts. In 2009, the only year in which ABM reported lobbying activities, the group spent $45,888. ABM’s expansion of lobbying presence is especially noteworthy given recent scrutiny of their extraordinary access to the governor’s office.
The deadline for groups to report expenditures was Thursday, March 15.
The entire list of lobbying groups and expenditures can be found here.