WNY firms and organizations employing state lobbyists spent $4.58 million in 2017

This post is Trump-free. I cannot say that it is politics-free, but readers can make their own judgments about that.

One of the earliest posts on this blog reviewed the list of Western New York firms and organizations that employed lobbyists in 2014. You can find that post here. Here are the links for the lists in 2015 and 2016.

Lobbying is a big business in New York State. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) annually publishes a list of lobbying activity. In 2017, according to JCOPE, a total of $240.1 million was spent on lobbying work in the state. This number was down about $2.6 million from the previous years.

Statewide, the major lobby clients are pretty consistently related to the activities of educational institutions and health care, although in 2017 Uber Technologies ranked number 2 with $2.2 million in spending. In 2017, the Greater New York Hospital Association led the list of clients, spending nearly $2.9 million.

Statewide, the major lobbyist firms move around a bit in the top ten list from year-to-year. In 2017 Kasirer LLC lead the list of lobbyists, ranked by total compensation and reimbursed expenses ($11.5 million).

There are hundreds of lobbyists in the state and thousands of clients. This post drills down to the clients based in Western New York employing lobbyists in 2017. Total spending by local firms and organizations in 2017 was $4.58 million. As has been the case in recent years, the local lobbying business is dominated by the firm of Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese & Associates (MMC).

MMC is owned and operated by former Buffalo Mayor Tony Masiello; former Republican Party leader Vic Martucci; and former Deputy County Executive and Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Carl Calabrese. Their client list has grown substantially both in terms of the number of clients and the revenues that the business produces.

There are other players representing local clients in Albany and in local government business; the JCOPE report deals with both. Some have a significant client list and there are some local connections to the firms as noted below.

Certain firms and organizations basically represent themselves in the lobbying work and are so noted in the following list. As to the firms involved, here is a code for the firms that had local business in 2017, along with some local connections to those firms:

AC          Ascension Consulting (George Maziarz)

BA          Barrett Associates

BW         Brown & Weinraub

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

CHC        Capital Health Consulting

CG          Capitol Group

CC           Carreau Consulting

CPC        Corning Place Communications

DA          Dickinson Avella

E3           E3 Communications (Brian Gould)

EA           Empire Advocates

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

MR         Malkin & Ross

MPP      Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

MMC     Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese

PL           Patricia Lynch

PG          Parkside Group

PS           Park Strategies (Joel Giambra; Alphonse D’Amato)

PBD        Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno

RM         Richardson Management (Richard Winter)

SA           Sheridan Associates

SPA        Statewide Public Affairs

UC          Upstate Consultants

And finally, here is the list of 110 local firms and organizations that employed lobbyists in 2017:

Client                                                                    Lobby Firm          Total 2017 Expenses

5380 Frontier Ave. Energy                            BSJ                         $6,310

Albright-Knox Art Gallery                             MMC                     $22,500

Applied Science Group                                  PS                           $21,067

Archer Daniel Midland                                 MMC                       $36,000

Assn. for Career & Tech. Education            BA                           $25,410

Assn. of Ambulatory Surgery Centers        E3                           $46,956

Association of Electrical Workers                                              $146,593

Association of Home Inspectors                  PG                          $12,000

Assn. of Plumbing,Heating,Cooling Con.   CG                          $16,261

Athletic Trainers Association                       CC                           $39,996

Baker Victory Services                                   BSJ                         $37,013

Brooks Memorial Hospital (Kaleida)          PS                           $10,540

Buffalo & Erie Co. Naval Military Park      BSJ                         $13,013

Buffalo & Erie Co. Botanical Gardens        MMC                       $4,000

Buffalo City Cemetery                                   FWC                       $37,247

MMC                     $24,000

Buffalo Computer Graphics                         BW                         $32,956

Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors                                   $78,943

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus               MMC                      $36,000

Buffalo Niagara Partnership                                                       $12,900

Buffalo Professional Firefighters               E3                           $24,000

Buffalo Sabres Foundation                          PS                           $93,207

Buffalo State College                                                                     $31,548

Buffalo Zoo                                                      MMC                     $24,000

Canisius College                                                                             $850

Catholic Health System                                  HH                         $45,000

Center for Elder Law & Justice                     KN                         $137,438

MMC                     $8,000

City of Lackawanna                                        MMC                     $36,000

Coalition for Community Building              MMC                     $27,000

County of Niagara                                           MMC                     $50,000

Creative Structure Services                          MMC                     $18,000

Delaware North Companies                         BSJ                         $144,763

DA                          $121,219

Delta Sonic                                                       MMC                     $15,000

Developmental Disability Alliance             JRD                         $40,958

District Council 4, Painters                           PBD                        $26,022

D’Youville College                                          MMC                     $90,000

ECMC Foundation                                          MMC                     $1,500

Empire State Passengers Association        PL                           $10,022

Enterprise Lumber & Silo                            UC                          $12,089

Erie County Medical Center                         MMC                     $40,000

Erie County Water Authority                       HSE                        $40,348

Evans Bank                                                       RM                         $5,000

Evergreen Health Services of WNY             MR                         $12,000

Fallon Health Weinberg                                 HSA                        $60,468

Frey Electric                                                      RM                         $7,560

GAR Associates                                                 MMC                     $27,500

Gates Circle Holdings                                      E3                           $36,000

Globe Metallurgical                                         UC                          $62,587

Greenman Petersen                                        MMC                     $36,000

Hamburg Brewing Company                        MMC                     $11,000

HealthNow New York                                    MMP                     $36,000

Independent Health Association                                                $120,000

SA                         $52,000

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries       LS                           $30,040

John W. Danforth Company                         MMC                        $36,000

PS                             $11,064

EA                           $36,000

Kaleida Health                                                 MMC                       $108,000

Lactalis American Group                               MMC                     $60,000

Liberty Communications                               PS                           $32,140

Maid of the Mist Corp.                                    PL                           $50,935

Mensch Capital Partners                               MMC                       $36,000

Modern Corp.                                                  MMC                       $22,500

RM                           $25,060

Monterrey Security                                        BSJ                         $12,669

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

National Fire Adjustment Company          PS                           $19,640

National Fuel Gas                                          AC                           $10,000

E3                           $24,800

GT                          $60,205

National Fuel Gas                                                                           $13,154

SPA                         $20,928

HSE                         $4,682

Neighborhood Legal Services                     BSJ                            $8,325

New Era Cap Company                                 BSJ                           $50,910

Niagara County Community College         PS                             $21,276

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission              PS                            $109,013

Niagara Falls Memorial Med. Center        AC                            $14,000

BSJ                            $3,581

Niagara Falls Water Board                          E3                             $2,200

Niagara Frontier Auto Dealers Assn.        HSE                          $24,748

Niagara Frontier Transportation Auth.    MMC                       $74,000

NOCO                                                                E3                           $24,000

North Tonawanda PBA                                 CPC                        $13,477

Parkview Health Services                            MMC                       $18,000

People, Inc.                                                       BSJ                         $36,760

People, Inc. Foundation                                MMC                       $9,000

Phillips Lytle                                                   MMC                        $36,000

Pyramid Management Group                      PG                            $30,382

Postprocess Technologies                             MMC                       $6,000

Power for Economic Prosperity                 E3                              $43,500

Prosurix                                                           MR                            $15,073

Public Housing Auth Directors Assn.        EA                              $30,000

Regional Community Service Programs  MR                             $55,680

Rigidized Metal Corp.                                   BSJ                            $49,255

Riviera Theatre                                             RM                             $5,000

Rosina Food Products                                 MMC                          $36,000

Roswell Park Cancer Institute                  GT                               $35,047

BW                              $45,395

Save Ontario Shore, Inc.                            MMC                           $30,000

Save Our WNY CPC                                     CHC                             $12,000

Seneca Nation of Indians                           MMC                          $110,000

HAS                            $120,876

$50

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

Sinatra and Company                                 MMC                          $36,000

Snyder Corp.                                                 MMC                          $36,000

SUNY Fredonia                                                                                 $513

TM Montante Development                        E3                              $42,000

Toski & Co.                                                      RM                            $20,060

Town of Cheektowaga                                  BSJ                            $37,013

Town of Tonawanda                                    E3                               $30,000

Trocaire College                                            E3                               $54,000

University at Buffalo                                                                        $200,960

Upstate Niagara Cooperative                                                         $6,105

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

Villarini & Henry LLP                                  SPA                             $7,103

Western New York Energy                         PS                                $27,187

Western New York Healthcare Assn.                                            $7,400

Western New York Law Center                  BSJ                              $37,013

Wheatfield Gardens                                      RM                              $20,000

William Schutt & Associates                       MMC                           $18,000

WNY Women’s Foundation                                                             $2,319

Connecting the Donald’s Dots

The following limerick was penned by my blog editor and longtime friend, Paul Fisk. The opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the publisher of the blog (but the publisher agrees with 99.8 percent of them). Ken Kruly

Connecting the Donald’s dots

By Paul Fisk

Once mocked by Prez forty-four

Trump now does things we abhor

If Obama once did it

Of the world he must rid it

He’s trying to settle a score Continue reading

Maziarz cannot serve as a lobbyist until 2017, but is he doing so now?

George Maziarz served as a member of the New York State Senate for 20 years, from 1995 through December 31, 2014. During his time in office he was an active and aggressive legislator. He worked to provide assistance to Niagara Falls and the County of Niagara in obtaining funding and legislative changes.

Then in 2014, on the heels of the now-disbanded Moreland Commission, Senator Maziarz got himself into some legal problems linked to his election campaign account and how it was used. He spent tens of thousands of dollars of his campaign funds to hire attorneys to defend him. He declined to seek re-election in 2014. Continue reading

Western New York firms and organizations spent $5.5 million on lobbyists in 2015; here’s the list

This post marks a minor milestone for Politics and Other Stuff. I am presenting my second annual review of local lobbying activities in state and local government. The first edition was published on May 13, 2015. Once again, this is mainly a “what we know if we do a little digging” post.

When I worked at Canisius College one of my responsibilities was to serve as the school’s registered New York State lobbyist. I became familiar with the Lobbying Commission’s rules and procedures, including the periodic reports they require. Continue reading

Some facts, speculation and heard-on-the-streets

Erie County DA

Michael Flaherty, as previously reported, has already assembled a large campaign war chest. It’s the politics that seem to be his problem.

There are continuing reports about his lack of political skills on the campaign trail. Most of us would prefer that a DA be as non-political as possible, but that really refers to activities such as appointments, handling cases and the like. What I am referring to is the give-and-take of campaigning, working a room, etc. That does not seem to be going so well for Flaherty.

John Flynn, having been a candidate before, is more comfortable with such activities. I have not really heard much about Mark Sacha’s campaign style. Continue reading