Remember when I kinda gave you guys Lobbyists 101?
Well, anyways here is Lobbyists 102. We are going to crudely break down a lobbyist's income, and show you how miserable a lot of them are.
Y'all remember Pat Haggerty? The guy when he was not poisoning his liver, he was...wait...the guy is always poisoning his liver. That's what he does, and that's all he knows.
Anyways. So what is Pat doing? Well, as some of you might know already, he is lobbying. At first glance you might think he is raking it in, but when you consider he is a 1099, he ain't exactly making bank. Fortunately for him, he has a sweet state pension to help him out.
Here's his client list along with compensation:
- Centerpoint Energy: $50,000-$99,999.00
- El Paso Firemen and Policemen's Pension Fund: Less than $10,000.00
- Licensed Beverage Distributors (editorial...Figures): $25,000 - $49,999.99
- Life Ambulance Service Inc: Less than $10,000.00
- PTP LPL: $25,000-$49,999.99
So on the low end, Haggerty is pulling in about $120,000.00. But even then, it could be a lot lower. We do not know the details of the contracts between Haggerty and his clients. So these contracts may cover a year or just a legislative session. There could be benchmarks associated with different levels of pay.
But back to $120,000.00.
Haggerty's listed address is a ratty looking apartment building in Austin not far from the Capitol. Which means rent is probably about $1,000.00 a month. He probably rents for the year so $12,000.00 is gone from that $120,000.00 .
Then comes everybodies favorite part....ENTERTAINMENT!!! Believe it or not, a lot of lobbyists (unless you got a sweet corporate internal gig) really do not like buying elected officials food and drink because that means less money for them. Put this between $10,000.00-$15,000.00.
Then everybody's second favorite part....CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS!!! Again, believe it or not, a lot of lobbyists do not like making it rain on elected officials. Why? Because that means less money for themselves. It's not only the El Paso delegation Haggerty is going to cut a contribution to, but to other members of the Legislature as well. Let's put this at $10,000.00-$15,000.00 just as we did with entertainment.
Going on the high end, between rent, entertainment and campaign contributions, of the $120,000.00 Haggerty started out with, he is down to $78,000 which is not exactly a lot for a 1099 employee. We have not even touched on the other expenses. Without the other sources of income such as pension, Social Security, etc., Haggerty probably could not lobby.
So why do it? Because like a lot of former elected officials who go into lobbying, he just can't let go. He likes to be in the mix of things. You can see it with Norma Chavez still. Despite her defeat, she still likes to roam around the Captiol and wants to be a player.
We have this image of all lobbyists being rich and powerful men, but truth be told there are probably a lot more lobbyists living in ratty apartments than in mansions, and lot of them are a lot like the guy at the L&J talking about the hot chick he banged in high school some 20 years ago.