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NYPIRG crunches lobbying numbers

ALBANY –- The New York Public Interest Research Group is out this morning with some new data crunching to shine a little light on New York’s flourishing lobbying industry.

NYPIRG’s own Excel Wizard, Bill Mahoney, takes apart financial filing information provided by the firms to a state ethics agency to show such things as who is growing and who is not in the vibrant economy that is Albany's lobbying industry.

No. 1 on the growth list is the business-funded Committee to Save New York, a group whose members are about as pro-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as you can get; many of the group’s leadership have a financial stake, not surprisingly, in what goes on in Albany.

The group’s spending raced from zero in 2010 to just under $12 million last year during Cuomo’s first year in office. It spends much of its money on television ads promoting Cuomo’s agenda.

In the money-to-burn category, the group ran television ads near the end of March urging viewers to call legislators to support Cuomo’s budget -- even after legislative leaders already agreed on a fiscal deal with Cuomo.

See the full NYPIRG report to get a flavor of how much groups –- from casino operators and WalMart to opponents and backers of gay marriage –- spent in 2011 compared to a year earlier.

--Tom Precious

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