Lobbyists received a heady $62 million in 2012 to influence New York City government, with Major League Soccer shelling out the greatest individual amount, the New York Daily News reported. The total amount represents a significant increase from 2011, when lobbying firms received a total of $53.3 million.
For its proposed $300 million stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, MLS spent a total of $1.7 million through five lobbying firms, the city clerk’s office told the Daily News. The majority of this money, the league said, went to real estate advisors and lawyers who have been working on the project but are not directly involved in swaying city officials.
“They are not lobbyists, but out of an abundance of caution, they registered because they are occasionally in meetings where lobbying takes place,” league spokeswoman Risa Heller told the Daily News. She added that Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, the league’s real estate lawyers, “registered for the same reason.”
Also on the list of big spenders was Cornell University, which spent over $520,000 to win approval for its Roosevelt Island high-tech campus, and Madison Square Garden, which spent a similar amount in a push to win a new permit for its arena. [NYDN] –Hiten Samtani