Lobbyists target state attorneys general

Aug. 27, 2007 at 7:46 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. lobbyists are increasingly targeting state attorneys general, using their influence in an area of politics with fewer restrictions and oversight.

The lobbyists, who count former Nebraska Attorney General Donald Stenberg, a Republican, among their number, seek to influence the investigations pursued by state attorneys general as well as their hiring practices, Stateline.org reported Monday.

"A cottage industry has sprung up. There are now hundreds of people making a very good living lobbying attorneys general," Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, also a Republican, said at a Washington forum. "When the 50 state attorneys general get together to discuss issues, there are often 100 or more lobbyists in the back of the room looking for an opportunity to further their cause."

Lobbyists looking to influence attorneys general are often confronted with fewer regulations and less oversight than those who advocate their positions to legislators -- for example, Nebraska only requires lobbyists to register if they work with the legislative branch of government.

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