Public entity lobbying cut in half in 2010

Lobbying by public entities including cities, counties, towns and public agencies saw a massive drop in 2010, falling by more than half from the $2 million spent in 2009.

For the year, public agencies spent $900,000, a drop that is likely attributable to the increased attention from the governor and the press last year.

The city of Newark spent $213,000 on three different prominent lobbying firms during the year, a $25,000 boost over its 2009 outlay.

The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, which was gutted by Gov. Chris Christie this year after a Star Ledger expose revealed the agency was rife with patronage, spent $46,000 on lobbying for the year.  That agency was criticized heavily by the governor last year when lobbying reports revealed the PVSC had spent $180,000 to sway Trenton lawmakers.

The Passaic Valley Water Commission, which has gained increased attention from the front office of late, spent over $30,000 on lobbying efforts last year.

In Begen County, two authorities spent a total of $148,000 on lobbying efforts last year, led by the Bergen County Utilities Authority, which ponied up $88,000 to hire Gibbons PC to advocate on its behalf.  Gibbons also represented the Bergen County Improvement Authority, which had its share of troubles last year with the indictment of former Chairman Ronald O’Malley, collecting $60,000 for its efforts on the authorities behalf.

Public entity lobbying cut in half in 2010