When we think of lobbyists, most of us would think of the lawyers and other influence peddlers of K Street and Downtown Washington. It’s easy to forget that 50 K Streets exist across the county, with hundreds if not thousands of lobbyists applying their trade in each state capital. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, as of two years ago, 42,390 lobbyists were registered in the 50 states.
The Institute has developed Lobbyist Link, a 50-state database where you can look up all state-registered lobbyists, and their clients. Citizens can now see how much money each lobbyists have given to state lawmakers and candidates. It’s a very valuable new tool. As the site says, “Lobbyists in the halls of your statehouse can access and influence those who make the laws that affect your life. But they aren’t working for you; they’re working for corporations, unions and special interests who have their own agenda to pursue.”