Nevada companies, governments and interests groups spend millions to lobby Washington
The U.S. Capitol. Public domain image.
By Jeremy Marsh
Nevada-based interests spent just under $3.5 million to influence decision makers in Washington, D.C. during the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest lobbying filings.
The filings, which cover federal lobbying efforts from April 1 to June 30 of this year, are required to be posted online quarterly by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.
An analysis of the public lobbying disclosure database reveals a wide variety of industries invested in lobbying in order to influence the legislative and executive branches over the past several months. The numbers analyzed here are a combination of direct lobbying expenditures and money spent on outside firms to lobby on a client’s behalf.
About 80 percent of the quarter’s lobbying spending, roughly $2.86 million, was by private corporations based in the Silver State. The remaining 20 percent, $635,000, was on behalf of state, county and city governments.
By far, the biggest spender was the gaming industry, representing about half of all Nevada-based lobbying spending in the second quarter. On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s May ruling that opened the door to the nationwide legalization of gambling, casinos and relevant stakeholders spent almost $1,700,000 lobbying in Washington, D.C.
MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corporation had the largest presence, spending $680,000 and $593,784 respectively. Las Vegas Sands Corporation spent a quarter of a million dollars, while the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and Boyd Gaming spent $70,000 and $60,000 respectively.
Wynn Resorts, International Game Technology and Station Casinos also lobbied in the nation’s capital.
The next largest sector represented was the aerospace and aviation industry, spending $655,000 in the quarter. Sierra Nevada Corporation, a private aerospace and defense company based in Sparks, Nevada, spent $410,000 while Aerion Corporation, a Reno-based aircraft manufacturer, spent $150,000.
Energy, natural resources and mining companies were the third-largest sector in the filings, spending $260,000 to lobby. NV Energy, Ormat Nevada and Tahoe Resources Inc. each spent $50,000 while seven other companies spent between $5,000 and $30,000.
In the public sector, Nevada counties and county-level agencies spent $130,000 on lobbying. Clark, Washoe and Nye county made up the majority of this spending.
The cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Sparks combined spent $90,000. Tribal governments spent $25,000.
Construction, entertainment and water interests were the other large spenders from April to June.
Marnell AK led the construction industry, spending $100,000. Ultimate Fighting Championship also spent $100,000 to lead the entertainment sector. Public water agencies and private water corporations spent $115,000 total to lobby in the last quarter.
The three remaining major interests, each spending about $60,000, were education, tourism and transportation.
The Nevada System of Higher Education led educational spending with $50,000, while the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spent $45,000. X Train Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada each spent $30,000.
Third quarter reports, covering lobbying from July 1 to September 30, are due online on October 22, 2018.
Disclosure: Several Indy donors are mentioned in this story. You can see a full list of donors here.
Jeremy Marsh is a student at George Washington University and an occasional contributor to The Nevada Independent.