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Cook County lobbyists get 7% more so far this year

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times

Lobbyists hired to plead their clients' causes to Cook County government were paid more than $1 million in the first half of 2006--a 7 percent increase over the previous six months, according to disclosure reports made public Monday.

Lobbyists received $1,060,131 during the first six months of 2006, according to figures released by Cook County Clerk David Orr's office. In the last six months of 2005, lobbyists reported earnings of $991,771, the clerk's office said.
The top-paid lobbyists during the most recent six months were Michael Kasper and Courtney Nottage, both of Fletcher, Topol, O'Brien & Kasper in Chicago. They each reported compensation of $137,000. Their clients include Advocate Health Care Network and CGI-AMS, an information technology company, according the clerk's office.

Kasper is a former general counsel to Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan and treasurer of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Nottage is a former chief of staff to Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones.

Anyone who is paid to influence county government is required to register as a lobbyist with the clerk's Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Division and file a semi-annual report. During the most recent filing period, 49 lobbyists filed reports, according to the clerk's office.

The county has 228 registered lobbyists, up from 217 in the last reporting period.



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