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Lobbying Money Hits New Record

Interests like labor unions, business groups, cities and counties spent a combined 285-million dollars to lobby state government in 2011. California Common Cause said the previous record was 281-million in 2008. Policy Analyst Phillip Ung said the report also focuses on lobbying activity.

"In 2011, there were 1,948 registered lobbyists and placement agents here in California. That's about a 16-to-one ratio to legislators. So that's sixteen lobbyists for every one legislator," said Ung.

Common Cause reports the California Teachers Association topped the lobbying list last year, spending more than six-point-five million dollars. Other top spenders included a mix of interests, like the Service Employees International Union, the Western States Petroleum Association and the City of Vernon-which was fighting legislation to dissolve its local government.