WNY firms and organizations spent $5.1 million on lobbying in 2018

Budget-wise, things have been getting a bit tight in Albany recently. The urge to spend state money by newly-elected liberal Democrats from New York City was tempered by the realities of diminishing tax revenues as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s interest in continuing to hold down the growth in spending.

Nonetheless, determining how state resources will be used continues to feed a large segment of the business community that tries every year to get a larger piece of the pie. Lobbying is alive and well in New York State.

This blog has been reviewing the list of Western New York firms and organizations that employed lobbyists for several years, beginning in 2014, and continuing in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Lobbying is big business in New York State. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) annually publishes a list of lobbying activity. In 2018, according to JCOPE, a total of $261.2 million was spent on lobbying work in the state. This was up $21 million from the previous year.

Statewide, the major lobby clients are pretty consistently related to the activities of the educational institutions, real estate and construction, and health care. In 2018, however, Uber Technologies ranked number 1 with nearly $6 million in spending.

Statewide, the major lobbyist firms move around a bit in the top ten lists from year-to-year. In 2018 Kasirer LLC leads the list of lobbyists, ranked by total compensation and reimbursed expenses, with $12.8 million. There were 7,790 lobbyists in the state who represented 5,041 clients last year.

This post drills down to the clients based in Western New York employing lobbyists in 2018. Total spending by local firms and organizations in 2018 was $5.089 million, an increase of one half million dollars or 11 percent over 2017. As has been the case in recent years, the local lobbying business is led by the firm of Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates (MMC), which had $1,299,000 in local billings last year. Bolton St. John (BSJ) was second at $711,674. E3 rated third in billings with $362,500.

Certain firms and organizations basically represent themselves in the lobbying work and are so noted in the following list. As to the lobbying firms involved, here is a code for those that had local business in 2018, along with some local connections to those firms:

BW         Brown & Weinraub

BSJ         Bolton St. Johns (Jack O’Donnell; Camille Brandon)

CHC        Capital Health Consulting

CG          Capitol Group

CC           Carreau Consulting

COPS     Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

DA          Dickinson Avella

E3           E3 Communications (Brian Gould)

EA           Empire Advocates

ES           Envision Strategy

FWC       Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne

GT          Greenberg Traurig

HH          Hadley Horrigan

HSE        Harter Secrest Emery

HSA        Hinman Straub

JRD         J.R. Drexelius

KN          Karen Nicolson

LS            Lawrence Schillinger

MC         McBride Consultants

MPA      Mercury Public Affairs

MR         Malkin & Ross

MPP      Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

MMC     Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese (Tony Masiello, Vic Martucci, Carl Calabrese)

NFBS     Niagara Frontier Business Solutions

PL           Patricia Lynch

PG          Parkside Group

PS           Park Strategies (Alphonse D’Amato)

PBD        Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno

RMS       Reid, McNally & Savage

RM         Richardson Management (Richard Winter)

SA           Sheridan Hofman & Associates

SPA        Statewide Public Affairs

SDS        Strategic Development Specialists

UC          Upstate Consultants

USA       Upstate Strategic Advisors (Sam Hoyt)

ZGA       ZGA, LLC

Here is the list of the 115 local firms and organizations that employed lobbyists in 2018. Twenty-six new firms and organizations signed on for lobbying last year while 18 dropped off from the 2017 list.  Some clients use more than one lobby firm:

Client                                                      Firm       Total ’18 Expenses

3DATX Corporation                                NC          $25,000

Albright-Knox Art Gallery                    MMC        $18,000

Applied Science Group                          BSJ             $35,520

Archer Daniel Midland                          MMC         $36,000

Area Health Education System             RMS          $5,776

Assn. of Ambulatory Surgery Centers  E3             $40,000

Association of Electrical Workers                           $121,128

Association of Home Inspectors             PG            $12,000

Assn. of Plumbing,Heating,Cooling Con.  CG         $16,105

Athletic Trainers Association                 CC              $40,000

Baker Victory Services                             BSJ             $36,959

Buffalo & Erie Co. Naval Military Park  BSJ            $16,959

Buffalo & Erie Co. Botanical Gardens     MMC         $48,000

Buffalo City Cemetery                                FWC          $36,656

MMC          $24,000

Buffalo Computer Graphics                      BW              $61,068

Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors                     $13,464

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus            MMC            $36,000

Buffalo Niagara Partnership                                          $15,382

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper                  BSJ                $591

Buffalo Professional Firefighters            E3                  $9,000

Buffalo State College                                                         $31,548

Buffalo Zoo                                                  MMC              $24,000

Canisius College                                                                 $250

Catholic Health System                             HH                  $50,647

Center for Elder Law & Justice                KN                   $124,571

MMC                $24,000

City of Lackawanna                                   MMC                 $36,000

Coalition for Community Building         MMC                  $27,000

County of Niagara                                      MMC                  $60,000

County of Orleans                                      PS                        $62,148

Creative Structure Services                      MMC                   $18,000

Custom Crews Inc.                                      RM                       $15,000

Delaware North Companies                     BSJ                        $150,959

DA                         $120,851


Delta Sonic                                                   MMC                      $18,000

Developmental Disability Alliance         JRD                          $40,350

District Council 4, Painters                      PBD                          $25,980

D’Youville College                                      MMC                        $90,000

Erie County Medical Center                     MMC                        $48,000

Erie County Water Authority                   HSE                          $40,218

Evans Bank                                                  RM                            $30,000

Evergreen Health Services of WNY        MR                            $50,100

Fair Committee                                           USA                           $35,000

Fallon Health Weinberg                            HSA                           $60,468

FNUB, Inc.                                                     BSJ                             $21,000

Fresenius Kabi USA                                    SPA                            $63,811

GAR Associates                                            MMC                          $30,000

ES                              $49,171

Gates Circle Holdings                                  E3                              $36,000

Genesee County Economic Dev.                PS                              $20,148

Globe Metallurgical                                     UC                              $44,081

Greenman Petersen                                    MMC                          $36,000

Hauptman-Woodward                               HSE                            $10,501

HealthNow New York                                MMP                          $36,000

Independent Health Association                                                 $120,000

SH                              $58,800

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries   LS                              $22,500

John W. Danforth Company                      MMC                         $36,000

NFBS                        $13,500

EA                             $36,000

Kaleida Health                                              MMC                       $108,000

Ken-Ton Elmwood Commons                    MMC                       $3,000

Ken-Ton School District                              MMC                       $16,000

Lactalis American Group                           MMC                       $30,000

Maid of the Mist Corp.                                PL                            $36,042

Marrano                                                        MMC                        $1,000

Mensch Capital Partners                            MMC                        $36,000

Modern Corp.                                                MMC                       $54,000

Monterrey Security                                     BSJ                           $33,459

Natl. Assn. of Industrial Office Parks      MMC                        $36,000

National Fuel Gas                                        E3                             $30,000

GT                             $45,000

SPA                           $13,077

HSE                           $25,909


Neighborhood Legal Services                   BSJ                             $24,959

New Era Cap Company                              BSJ                             $60,959

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission           PS                               $108,959

Niagara Falls Memorial Med. Center      BSJ                              $42,959

Niagara Frontier Auto Dealers Assn.      HSE                            $24,918

Niagara Frontier Transportation Auth.  MMC                          $78,000

NOCO                                                              E3                               $24,000

North American Breweries                       RMS                            $5,697

Olin                                                                E3                                $60,000

Parkview Health Services                         MMC                          $18,000

People, Inc.                                                   BSJ                             $36,000

Phillips Lytle                                                MMC                         $36,000

Pyramid Management Group                  PG                              $30,000

Power for Economic Prosperity              E3                               $31,500

Premier Genesee Center                           CHC                           $12,500

Public Housing Auth Directors Assn.     EA                              $30,000

Regional Community Service Programs  MR                           $58,386

Rigidized Metal Corp.                                 BSJ                             $48,959

Riviera Theatre                                           RM                              $7,500

Rosina Food Products                               MMC                           $36,000

Roswell Park Cancer Institute                GT                                $84,223

Save Ontario Shore, Inc.                           MMC                          $30,000

Seneca Nation of Indians                         MMC                          $30,000


Shea’s O’Connell Preservation Guild     MMC                         $30,000

Sinatra and Company                               MMC                          $36,000

Snyder Corp.                                               MMC                          $15,000

SUNY Brockport                                                                             $2,262

SUNY Fredonia                                                                               $190

SUNY Geneseo                                             COPS                          $20,842

TM Montante Development                     E3                               $42,000

Town of Cheektowaga                               BSJ                             $36,959

Town of Tonawanda                                 E3                                $31,706

Trocaire College                                         E3                                $60,000

UB Associates                                                                                  $5,304

University at Buffalo                                                                     $338,577

Upstate Niagara Cooperative                                                       $6,646

US Traffic Control                                     RM                               $15,000

Raul Vazquez, M.D.                                  MMC                            $36,000

Vegetable Growers                                   SPA                              $24,484

Villarini & Henry LLP                              SPA                              $6,811

Western Central Coalition for Children  GT                            $16,041

Western New York Energy                       PS                              $26,148

Western New York Healthcare Assn.                                        $16,744

Western New York Law Center              BSJ                              $36,959

Western Regional OTB                             MPA                           $120,000

SDS                             $55,000

Wheatfield Gardens                                 RM                              $50,000

William Schutt & Associates                  MMC                           $18,000

WNY Women’s Foundation                                                        $1,272