Good Government–CHEAP!

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Lobbying–it’s not just for real estate tycoons and globe-crushing corporations. While this year’s report on who spent what lobbying New York City government is dominated by big-bucks real estate interests and insurance companies, the records show that nonprofits ante up the cash as well.

The Legal Aid Society, for example, shelled out more than $60,000 to lobby the city last year–more than twice as much as the landlord-loving Rent Stabilization Association admitted spending. The Coalition for the Homeless spent $50,393. Even pipsqueaks must pay the piper: Citizens Committee for Children spent $24,000, and the budget watchdog City Project spent $3,500.

The cash figures don’t necessarily reflect actual lobbying pull, points out Neal Rosenstein from the New York Public Interest Research Group, which produces an annual analysis of city lobbying. Good-government groups tend to be more honest when they report lobbying expenses. For example: NYPIRG’s lobbying outlay last year was $5,634.