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updated: 7/24/2014 7:56 PM

Lobbying activity falls to 4-year low in Cook County

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Daily Herald report

Lobbyists were paid almost $1.2 million for reaching out to officials in Cook County during the first half of 2014, but lobbying activity during that six-month period was the lowest in four years, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Orr's semiannual lobbying report, released this week, said lobbyists sought support from elected officials and employees on issues including medical marijuana, puppy mills, tobacco and liquor and soda taxes.

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From January to June, 213 lobbyists reported 274 contacts. The same period last year showed 517 contacts from lobbyists who were paid more than $1.4 million. Numbers for 2014 so far are the lowest since at least 2010, according to the report.

Since January, 61 elected officials and employees were contacted by lobbyists, the report said. Contact can be in person or by phone, text or email.

Efforts included:

• A lobbyist for the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council who discussed pet breeding with five county commissioners.

• A lobbyist paid $10,000 by the Cigar Association of America to discuss "issues affecting cigars and other tobacco products" with elected officials.

• A lobbyist earning $4,000 from Illinois Grown Medicines, on behalf of medical marijuana.

Lobbyists registered in the county must file twice a year.

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