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Article updated: 1/30/2013 5:41 PM

Clerk: Lobbyists active in Cook County

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Lobbyists were paid nearly $2.4 million in 2012 as they attempted to influence Cook County officials on the county's new land bank, driver's licenses for immigrants, the landfill moratorium and other issues, according to reports submitted to Clerk David Orr's website. The tobacco lobby was particularly prominent -- the companies that collectively spent $220,000 to lobby the county last year were: Altria, the parent of Philip Morris, which had its own lobbyists and representation from four other lobbyists; Republic Companies, also known as Glenview-based Republic Tobacco; RYO Machine LLC, an Ohio roll-your-own cigarette company; RAI Services Company, the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; and Cigar Association of America. "Lobbyists tried to affect decisions on everything from budget matters to policy issues," Orr said in a news release Thursday. "Cook County officials were contacted more than 1,200 times by lobbyists last year. Information is at Orr's Lobbyist Online website, where anyone can search by lobbyist or firm name, what they are lobbying about, who they lobbied and how much they were paid.

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