Here’s the Salaries of Some Lobbyists

These are the salaries of 2 lobbyists that represent associations of counties, cities and school boards:

$204,000 a year, plus 1 Ford Explorer
$196,000 a year, plus 1 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee

These 2 along with others from 20 states will get government pensions when they retire because of 1 weird old law that says that even though they are private employees, because they represent public orgs, they get free money.

I mean, there’s so much other stuff to get pissed about, this doesn’t really register for me—it’s not like they’re oil lobbyists right—but some people are pissed about it so maybe you want to be pissed about it, too. Also maybe we all should have been lobbyists. Ha, duh.


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OK, so, my profession is a bunch of people who are remarkably bad at speaking up for themselves for some reason, but I feel obligated on principle. I am a registered lobbyist. I represent an association. A nonprofit. I make $40,000 a year. I am NOT in it for the money, I am NOT getting rich off of it, I believe in the things that I do and that I advocate for, and I think that I do help people. I partially blame my profession – how can we be excellent professional advocates for our clients if we can’t event stand up for ourselves? But I resent the constant insinuation that we are all a bunch of selfish, evil, greedy Jack Abramoff fat cats. And yes, Logan, I realize you specified “some” lobbyists in your title.

And, for the record, I have a 401k, not a pension. And it’s not doing so great. But I try.

@bowtiesarecool If you replace “lobbyist for school boards & small towns” with “advocate for school boards & small towns,” suddenly it’s not nearly so terrible (again, not trying to attack Logan here). The real problem is the amount of money given by unethical companies to unethical lobbyists who talk to unethical politicians.

Runawaytwin (#2,693)

These 2 along with others from 20 states will get government pensions when they retire because of 1 weird old law that says that even though they are private employees, because they represent public orgs, they get free money.

IM confused as to why you consider a government pension “free” money. Yes its great they get it- but i dont think its free. Its part of their compensation and perhaps why they took/keep/stay at the job. Maybe wtihout the pension they would demand 400k in salary. Maybe without it they would work somewhere else. I see no reason to be mad that they get a pension. Id rather be mad that i dont. But they are not getting one in lieu of me getting one.

Why do people get mad that some people make a lot of money. I like to hear that some people in some industries make money. I like hearing that my boss and her boss and their bosses make way more than me- it means that maybe – hopefully- ONE DAY i too can make a lot of money and not be relegated to a pitiful salary until my death.

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

@Runawaytwin I agree. I’m curious about the resentment about people who have better-paying jobs. If people wants to make more money, then get a job which pays more money. On this site, so many people work at non-profits. There are obviously social benefits about working at a non-profit, but they generally don’t pay as well.

Eric18 (#4,486)

@Runawaytwin I agree. Logan and alot of people on this site have a very close-minded and hostile attitude when it comes to rich people. Sometimes this site has good articles. But sometimes it just seems like Logan and others want to vent about how much they hate people who are more successful than they are.

Lobbyists come in all shapes and sizes. And people are going to do what they can to advance their agenda. That means hiring smart and talented people to advocate on their behalf.

EDaily (#4,396)

@Runawaytwin Okay, but did you read the story? The issue is not that government pension is “free money” it’s this:

“But several states have started to question whether these organizations should qualify for such benefits, since they are private entities in most respects: They face no public oversight of their activities, can pay their top executives private-sector salaries and sometimes lobby for positions in conflict with taxpayers. New Jersey and Illinois are among the states considering legislation that would end their inclusion.

‘It’s a question of, “Why are we providing government pensions to these private organizations?”‘ said Illinois Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz.”

@WayDownSouth Maybe you can point to specific examples of resentment, but I think there is envy more than anything else. Also, “if people want to make more money, get a job which pays more money” is a really simplistic statement—as if poor people are poor because they are simply choosing not to get a job that pays more money. There are a lot of institutional problems. There is a lot of sexism at work. It’s not as easy as “get a job which pays more money.”

selenana (#673)

@EDaily Everyone: just get jobs that pay more money! World poverty solved, thx!

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

@EDaily yes, “get a better job” is simplistic, but I believe that it’s also true. Serfdom ended quite a few years ago. If people believe that their jobs are unsustainable or unsuitable, then they have opportunities to find a job which better meets their needs. I agree with you that it’s not easy. However, I believe that people who comment on this site live in countries where they are free to try to improve their personal situations.

I don’t believe that all poor people choose to be poor — of course not. I do believe, though, that there are opportunities for many people to get higher-paying jobs if they wish to. Of course, higher-paying jobs often result in lower job security (e.g., sales jobs pay more than admin, but admin jobs are more secure). I do wonder why so many commenters on this site work for non-profit employers, but complain about commercial industry pay scales. If they want to make the money available in commercial industry, then get a job there.

EDaily (#4,396)

@WayDownSouth I read this site a lot and I don’t see people working in non-profit jobs complaining about commercial industry pay scales. Can you provide examples to prove this is prevalent? The woman interviewed yesterday who worked in two notoriously low-paying jobs (artist + non-profit work) is not only diligently putting away money into retirement, but is actively seeking better paid work. Not once does she complain about commercial industry pay scales. Also, I recall some time ago that there was an interview with a surgeon on this site who earned $600,000 a year, and he complained that he didn’t feel secure. People with non-profit salaries also don’t feel secure. Complaining about money is something both low-earners and high-earners do—especially on the internet, and especially in the comments sections of websites.

Also, in this thread, the argument appears to be that Logan is complaining that lobbyists earn too much money and because of this she must resent people with high-paying jobs. But that is not the complaint. The post is about lobbyists who work in the private sector who face no public oversight but who collect government pensions, and it links to a story explaining why lawmakers want this stopped. Nobody in this thread is talking about whether or not they believe private sector employees should be able to collect public pensions. Instead they’re caught up on the part where Logan mentions some salaries—despite it being relevant to the report.

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