Nebraska’s Super-Seven “Lawbbyists” by Ivy Marie Harper

May 28, 2013


My research shows that this sentence is misleading: “There are approximately 300 lobbyists registered with the Clerk of the Legislature.”

While there may – officially – be 300 lobbyists registered with the State, the number 300 does not tell the true story of the major influence laundering that Nebraska’s Top Dog “Lawbbyists” engage in year after lucrative year.

For example, the great majority of the men + women who remain listed on the current Clerk + NADC website are not currently registered as lobbyists. Just take one letter of the alphabet – as I did – and out of 40 names listed, only eight are registered THIS YEAR and of those, only three made more than a few hundred dollars or work for non-profits.

Despite the fact that most Clerk-listed lobbyists haven’t been lobbying in years, they’re still “listed” as lobbyists. Go figure, my friends. When recently questioned about this, neither the Clerk’s office nor anyone at the NADC could explain why hundreds of lobbyists who are long out of the business are still listed as lobbyists.

Perhaps, it makes the handful of actual lobbyists feel better for everyone to pretend that there are swarms of lobbyists handing the Red Coats notes rather than the same old, same old household “lawbbying” names of M-R, R& A, + OL & A.

By the way, I coined the term, “lawbbyists” because these Super-Seven, who are mostly lawyers, are drafting/writing Nebraska’s laws. [See Mueller-Robak + Sen. Tyson Larson’s Facebook bill]

Even of the 300 supposedly “registered” lobbyists, the great majority make little or no money as compared to the lavish payloads of the Super Seven “Lawbbyists” which include: Mueller-Robak, LLC, whose annual “lawbbying” totals end up being around 1.6 million dollars, give or take a couple hundred grand. Ditto with Radcliffe & Associates; O’Hara, Lindsay & Associates; several hundred grand below the Top Dog Trio are Natalie Peetz, Kermit Brashear and of course, NU’s uber-“lawbbyist,” Ron Withem who just so happens to be a former Unicameral Speaker, surprise, surprise!

It’s abundantly clear that the Unicameral – what I call the “MoneyCameral” has been hi-jacked by a handful of clever Cornhuskers who I’m sure convince themselves that they’re merely “educating” Nebraska’s 49 Senators about all manner of “necessary” bills, you know the same legislation that- coincidentally – is desired by “Principals” who want their way + are willing to fork over big bucks to get it, often at the expense of the very PEOPLE for whom the Unicameral was established. State Senators are elected so that they can represent “The People” but these numbers don’t lie.

It’s pretty obvious that Nebraska’s 49 Senators are “representing” the Super-Seven’s Premiere “Principals” that have purchased their power on the Prairie the old-fashioned way: By writing hefty checks to a handful of well-connected lobbyists, most of whom are former politicos themselves.

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