Agents’ compensation sets record for lobbying the Kentucky legislature

By Laura Cullen Glasscock

The roughly 450 lobbyists working in Kentucky during this year’s legislative session split between them earnings of more than $9.7 million. And for the first time in probably 20 years, contract lobbyist Bob Babbage was not at the top of the list of high earners – he lost his spot to John McCarthy … by $3.

McCarthy, of McCarthy Strategic Solutions in Frankfort, billed his clients $315,003 during the 60-day session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Babbage’s firm, Babbage CoFounder, is in Lexington.

As a group, lobbyists’ compensation is higher during even-numbered years, when the General Assembly meets for 60 days and drafts a two-year state budget. In 2016, lobbyists earned a then-record $8.4 million for their work in Frankfort, up from $7.8 million in 2014.

Rounding out the top 10 list of high earners this year, after McCarthy and Babbage, are Patrick Jennings, Ronny Pryor, Karen Thomas-Lentz, Sean Cutter, John Cooper, Leigh Ann Thacker, Kevin Payton and Chris Nolan.

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