Under the Dome

Survey measures lobbyists’ presence in N.C.

An analysis of lobbying in statehouses across the country shows the liberal N.C. Justice Center is among the top five lobbying entities in North Carolina. It’s in the company of Wells Fargo & Co., the N.C. Hospital Association, Fidelity Investments, and AT&T Inc.

The Center for Public Integrity, an independent, nonprofit news organization, released the survey Thursday. It also shows the ratio of lobbying entities to legislators in North Carolina is 5 to 1. The ratios run from 30-1 in California to 1-1 in New Hampshire.

The center analyzed lobbying registrations from 2010 through 2014 to determine which companies, trade associations and other advocacy groups had the most lobbying presence across the country.

Registrations included in-house and part-time lobbyists. The center consolidated subsidiary corporations under their parent corporations.

The relatively small N.C. Justice Center scored so high because a large number of its staff are registered as lobbyists. Director Rick Glazier tells Dome every staffer who has any substantial contact with legislators are registered, even if that is only a small part of their job.

That’s done out of an abundance of caution to comply with the law, he said.

“The Center has always zealously and professionally advocated for the public interest, particularly for policies to mitigate the effects of poverty in North Carolina,” Glazier said.

You can read the whole report here.