Business groups were tops in lobbying spending in 2011

Groups spent $65 million to lobby Gov. Dayton’s administration, the Legislature and metropolitan units of government in 2011, according to a new report from the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.

The top five in lobbying spending were: Xcel Energy ($2.3 million), The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce ($2 million), the Minnesota Business Partnership ($980,000), Alliant Energy ($960,000) and the Minneapolis Radiation Oncology Physicians ($900,000), the report said.

Other big spenders included the Minnesota Vikings ($840,000), The MN AFL-CIO ($820,000), the Coalition of MN Businesses ($748,000) and the DFL-leaning group The Alliance for a Better Minnesota ($670,000).

The lobbying expenses in 2011 came during a tumultuous time for Minnesota government. Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature were at odds over the best way to craft a two-year budget. The stalemate led to a three week state government shutdown.

You can read the full report here.