Lincoln, NE — Last year, Nebraska lobbyists broke records, earning a whopping $21,839,249 in compensation from special interests to influence legislation, according to a new report released today by Common Cause Nebraska.
The report, “Another Year, Another Record: Nebraska’s Continuous Lobbying Climb,” details lobbyists’ efforts to shape Nebraska policy through private fundraisers, gifts, and entertainment. It also delves into a troubling story of senators being used as marketing tools for private business.
“The time for Nebraska to bring accountability to lobbying is today,” said Gavin Geis, executive director of Common Cause Nebraska. “As the lobbying industry continues to grow, it’s on our state leaders to represent the people, not special interests, and pass campaign finance reform.”
Compiled by Jack Gould, Common Cause Nebraska’s Issues Chair, the report identifies some of the highest compensated lobbying firms, spenders on lobbying, lobby campaign contributions, public school lobbying and more. Among those top spenders are the NE Farm Bureau, University of Nebraska and League of Municipalities.
Additionally, the report gives insight into the Mt. Kilimanjaro scandal, in which five state senators were seemingly paid with a trip by a food supplement company in order to promote their products.
“While Nebraskans have the right to address their legislators on matters of policy, lobbyists do the bidding of the highest bidders,” said Gould. “This report shows the ever-growing influence of lobbying, and why Nebraskans must demand better.”
Nebraska has no restrictions on lobbyist contributions or fundraisers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and is one of 22 states that have no restriction on in-session fundraisers.
To read the 2022 lobbying report, click here.
Since 1970, Common Cause has been working to hold power accountable through lobbying, litigation, and organizing. Our nonpartisan, pro-democracy work has helped pass hundreds of reforms at the federal, state, and local levels. We now have 30 state chapters and more than 1.5 million members around the country who are working to strengthen our democracy.