With a shift toward advocacy ads, lobbyists spent $60 million in N.J. in ’13

Lobbyists in New Jersey are spending more money, but it’s not just the governor and the legislature that they’re trying to influence.

A minimum wage referendum, gun control bills, and an attempt to delay teacher tenure changes may have helped boost lobbyist spending last year by nearly 4 percent to $60 million.

Lobbyists are increasingly turning to issue advocacy ads aimed at the public, according to Jeff Brindle, executive director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

“This kind of advertising has been found to be pretty effective,” Brindle said. “Lobbyists, like any other profession, are going to kind of change their ways and go with those things that are the most effective in terms of attempting to influence the process for their clients.”

The New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, spent the most on lobbying last year, more than $3 million. Americans for Prosperity was second, spending almost $1 million.

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