D’Amato’s firm fastest growing lobbyist in NY

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Former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato on Jan. 2,

Former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato on Jan. 2, 2014. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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ALBANY -- Former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's Park Strategies firm grew faster than any other lobbying company in New York last year, according to a state report released Thursday.

The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics said Park grew by 61.9 percent. The firm also rose to fourth among lobbying for total compensation, at $6.4 million. That's a jump from eighth place in 2012, when Park Strategies had $3.7 million in total compensation.

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In February, Newsday reported that D'Amato's firm had quickly become one of the fastest-rising lobbying outfits in New York, absorbing other companies and adding experienced political hands from either major political party. They have included David Catalfamo, a former top aide to Republican Gov. George Pataki; and Juanita Scarlett, a former top aide to Govs. Eliot Spitzer and Andrew M. Cuomo. Newsday's analysis found Park had grown by 150 percent from 2011 to put it among the top five lobbying groups.

Thursday's state report found that Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker of Manhattan remained the top lobbying firm by total compensation, with $10.3 million. It has represented banking and casino interests.

The second biggest firm in 2012 by total compensation was Patricia Lynch Associates, with $6.7 million. The Albany-based lobbying firm started by the former top confidante of Assembly Speaker Sheldon was ranked sixth in 2013, with $5.5 million in total compensation.

The top lobbying clients were Altria Client Services and its affiliates, which spent $3 million last year. Altria Group is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, the tobacco company.

The next two biggest clients in 2013 were the state's two biggest teachers unions -- United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers -- as they fought Cuomo's move to enact teacher evaluations.

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In 2013, the most lobbying dollars were spent in the area of health and mental hygiene, at $33.7 million. Lobbying over real estate and construction areas was next at $24 million. That ranking is the same as in 2012.

There was no immediate comment from Park Strategies, Patricia Lynch Associates or Wilson Elser.

With Yancey Roy

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