The 'K Street' Effect Hits Texas

II. Elite Lobby Incomes Soared

This report compares Texas’ top 25 lobbyists in 1999 with the state’s top 25 lobbyists in 2003 (basing these rankings on reported lobby incomes). It analyzes the amount of lobby revenues that these elite lobbyists took in and the amount of campaign contributions that they and their associated firms and PACs pumped into corresponding state election cycles. It finds that state campaign contributions associated with Texas’ top 25 lobbyists shot up a stunning 417 percent during the six-year period from 1999 to 2004.

The total amount that special interests spent on Texas lobbyists increased 42 percent from 1999 to 2003, rising from up to $194 million to up to $276 million (precise amounts are unknown because Texas lobbyists report contract values in ranges, such as “$150,000 to $199,999”). During this same period the combined lobby incomes of Texas’ top 25 lobbyists rose even faster, increasing 53 percent from up to $37 million in 1999 to a maximum of $56.3 million in 2003. This works out to an average 2003 income of more than $2 million per elite lobbyist. Rusty Kelley, Texas’ No. 1 lobbyist in 2003, reported an income of up to $5.2 million that year. This was almost five times what he reported two legislative sessions earlier in 1999, when he ranked No. 28.

Billings By Texas’ Top 25 Lobbyists
Went Up 53 Percent from 1999 to 2003

No. of Contracts
Max. Value of Contracts
Reported By Texas’
Reported By Texas’
Top 25 Lobbyists
Top 25 Lobbyists
$36.8 million
$56.3 million

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©Copyright Texans for Public Justice, July 2006