The city of Austin is preparing to spend a lot of money on lobbyists to press the attack on a wide range of issues (pg. 7) in the upcoming legislative session and in Washington D.C. The city’s decision to spend almost $1 million on lobbyists—which doesn’t include annual membership dues paid to associations that also lobby on its behalf—has once again caused many to question whether it’s fair to use taxpayer money to lobby for more taxpayer money.

While taxpayer-funded lobbying is something of a controversial issue, the vote to spend so much on federal and state lobbyists was near-unanimous with only two councilmembers (Zimmerman and Troxclair) not voting in favor of the measure, which approved expenditures for the following:

Lobbyists for the 85th TX Legislature

Focused Advocacy (Brandon Aghamalian and Snapper Carr)


Nora Del Bosque


Erben & Yarbrough (Randall Erben)


Cliff Johnson


GreenbergTraurig (Demetrius McDaniel)


Clayton Pope


McGuireWoods Consulting (Luis Saenz)


Imperium Public Affairs (Trent Townsend)


Brady & Peavey, P.C. (Ross Peavey)






Lobbyists for Washington D.C.

Capital Edge


Jeff Boothe





Of course it’s not just that the city of Austin is set to spend big on lobbyists, but also what it hopes to accomplish with said spending. And that’s where things get particularly troublesome for taxpayers and liberty-lovers.

Among the most high-profile issues on Austin’s radar are: stopping conservatives from slowing down the rate of growth of property taxes, without a vote of the people; ending involuntary annexation; preempting municipal regulation of TNCs; and pressing the case on plastic bag bans, to name a few.

So not only is the city spending big, but it’s also spending badly. And that shouldn’t sit well with anyone in Austin.