Queen of the MoneyCam(eral): Kim Robak Gets the Gold with her Half a Million Dollar Lobbying Haul

July 24, 2012

Uncategorized

Turns out that Kim Robak’s LLC, Mueller-Robak, earned $565,000 between January and March 30th, 2012. Not too shabby for twelve weeks of work.

In that same period, Nebraska State Senator Amanda McGill earned $12,000, which means that Nebraska’s premier lobbyist earns fifty times more than the State Senators she lobbies.

Wonder who has the “research” upper hand?

Also curious why it is that Mueller-Robak these days lists three other “lobbyists” but “The Record” (Nebraska Accountability & Disclosure Commission) reveals that none of the other Mueller-Robak “lobbyists” actually received any 2012 “compensation for lobbying,” according to an employee at the NADC.

A cynic might say that five “lobbyists” are listed with Mueller-Robak, LLC so that a half a million dollar lobbying haul “appears” and/or “suggests” as if it might be split five ways rather than two ways.

One must dig quite deep into the bowels of the NADC to discover that the Mueller-Robak “lobbyists” – to date in 2012, anyway – have not received a single dollar for “lobbying” although they are listed as “registered lobbyists” with the Mueller-Robak lobbying firm, according to an NADC employee. Go figure.

Which, of course, begs the question: Why does the NADC allow “anyone” to “register” as a lobbyist even if they don’t clock any “real time” lobbying from quarter to quarter or year to year.

“Anyone can register as a lobbyist,” I was told Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by an NADC employee.

“Well, does that ‘anyone’ have to actually lobby?” I inquired.

Nope, they don’t. So, I pressed: “What’s the point of registering as a “lobbyist” if you don’t actually put in any time “lobbying.”

“That’s a good question,” she said.

In other words, I can “register” to be a Unicameral “lobbyist” and never have to spend even one hour lobbying. Very interesting, as the guy use to say.

Here’s a scenario: Joe Q. Citizen registers as a “lobbyist.” They do have to pay a $200 fee but then they’re free to answer the question, “What do you do?” with:

“I’m a lobbyist at the Unicameral.” Sounds good, doesn’t it.

A lobbyist for the nation’s only one-house Legislature. So, technically, I was told that this hypothetical “lobbyist” could get business cards that simply say, “Lobbyist: Nebraska Unicameral” and that would be totally kosher.

They can purchase a fancy website with stunning, rotating pictures of the Unicameral taken by the premier Lincoln Capitol Building photographer, John Nollendorfs; pictures that pretty much lead the website viewer to assume that this lobbyist’s office is actually located – physically – in the Capitol, aka “The Unicameral.”

One can do all that “lobbying” marketing and still not spend a minute “lobbying.” Ain’t life grand. You gotta love a system that lets lobbyists who don’t lobby still be lobbyists.

No clients. No compensation. No committee meetings. But whoopee, they are – by NADC definition – Nebraska Unicameral “lobbyists.”

Here’s the three-month take of Nebraska’s other top two lobbying shops:

Walt Radcliffe gets the Silver with: $355,780.81;

And the Bronze medal goes to O’Hara/Lindsay who came in at: $250,696.79

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