Monday, August 27, 2007

Lobbying State AGs, the New Lobbying Game

Would be interesting to know if any paid lobbyists are influencing our Tennessee Attorney General, Robert Cooper.

Link

At a panel discussion last month in Washington, D.C., Colorado Attorney General John Suthers (R) said lobbying of state law enforcers has become increasingly common since 45 attorneys general in 1998 forced tobacco firms into a record $246 billion settlement over smokers' health claims.

"A cottage industry has sprung up. There are now hundreds of people making a very good living lobbying attorneys general," Suthers said at the forum, where he was joined by Stenberg and the Republican attorneys general of Wisconsin and Virginia. "When the 50 state attorneys general get together to discuss issues, there are often 100 or more lobbyists in the back of the room looking for an opportunity to further their cause."

Stenberg's firm specializes in "resolving legal issues with state attorneys general," according to his company's Web site. In an interview with Stateline.org, Stenberg said his work primarily is divided into two categories: meeting with corporate clients and meeting with state attorneys general or their staff "to make sure they have the facts and a full understanding of the matter."