During the last six months of 2009, a group pushing the Edgewater Hotel expansion spent $96,314 lobbying city officials, about the same amount spent during this period by all other city-registered lobby groups combined.
According to filings with the Madison city clerk, Landmark X was represented in contacts with city officials by 17 different individuals, including project head Robert Dunn, company spokesperson Sarah Carpenter and paid lobbyists including Hank Gempeler, Mike Christopher and Ron Trachtenberg.
In all, the city has 186 registered lobbyists representing more than 200 interests. For the last six months of 2009, 25 interests submitted reports disclosing their lobbying totals, which is required when at least $1,000 is spent.
The 24 interests besides Landmark X, according to an Isthmus tally, spent a total of $97,700 on lobbying.
In all, Landmark X has reportedly spent $208,374 on lobbying since August 2008, including $182,452 last year. That's four times as much as the second-highest spender, the Wisconsin Wine and Spirit Institute.
Landmark X initially made no filing for 2008 and claimed it spent less than $1,000 in the first half of 2009. It later filed amended reports saying it spent $25,920 in 2008 and $86,140 in the first half of 2009.
The group's most recent report, for the latter half of 2009, itemizes more than 200 contacts with Madison city officials and staff. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz was on hand for 13 of these, and 31 involved Edgewater district Ald. Bridget Maniaci.
While critical approvals are pending, the Common Council has already authorized a $16 million city subsidy to the project. That's about $77 in subsidy for every $1 spent on lobbying, in case anyone wants to know.