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Lobbying Interests Poised To Set Another Record

Businesses and organizations lobbying lawmakers in Frankfort set a new spending record during the first eight months of 2014.

The trend is hardly new.

"Generally speaking, it's been going up consistently since reporting was first required," says John Schaaf with the Legislative Ethics Commission.

He puts the total at $13.6M through August of this year, easily outpacing the $13.2M spent during the same period in 2012 when the last 60 day General Assembly session occurred. And Schaaf projects lobbying interests will also top the total yearly record of $17.8M.

Among the organizations with the deepest pockets, he lists "Altria, which is basically a tobacco company, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, which represents a pretty large number of Kentucky businesses, the Kentucky Hospital Association, AT&T, and the Kentucky Medical Association."

A previous top spender during debates over requiring prescriptions for drugs containing pseudoephedrine, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents drugs stores and drug makers, is no longer in the running after it cut back on lobbying by 90 percent in 2014.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.