July 30th, 2012 12:47 pm | by COREY PEIN News | Posted In: City Hall, Activism, Business, Politics

Report Shows New Top Spender Among City Hall Lobbyists

working america

There's a new big spender among the groups that regularly lobby four mayor and four city commissioners in Portland City Hall: a national union-backed group called Working America

Unlike Walmart, the Portland Business Alliance, the Port of Portland and other regulars on the City Auditor's lobbying reports, Working America uses anti-corporate rhetoric influenced by the Occupy Wall Street movement—and goes so far as to make demands on behalf of "the 99 percent," which the movement itself never did.

The latest quarterly lobbying reports from City Hall, published online over the weekend, show the group suddenly started spending money to lobby: $8,850, in the quarter ending June 30.

The report shows Working America paid eight lobbyists who attempted to influence the city's policy on "earned sick days"—a contentious issue between city workers and management that has come up during the City Council race between incumbent Commissioner Amanda Fritz and State Rep. Mary Nolan (D-Southwest Portland). Working America also previously advocated on behalf of threatened U.S. Postal Service workers, whose cause the City Council took up last year. 

The next-biggest spenders last quarter were the Portland Business Alliance and the Port, with $2,292 and $1,300 in City Hall lobbying expenses, respectively.

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