It's proving to be a recipe for state and local governments -- some of which are running massive budget deficits -- to spend near-record levels of money hiring professional lobbyists in a bid for federal aid.
In 2009, local, state and territorial governments spent more than $83.5 million of taxpayer money lobbying federal lawmakers and public officials.
And in spending more than $19.5 million in the first three months of 2010, cities, states, municipalities and territories are risking big bucks by lobbing the federal government in hope of greater returns in federal aid.
Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles County and Riverside County in California, respectively, ranked in 2009 as the top five state and local governments in lobbying spending. In the first three months of 2010, these five topped the charts again, spending a combined $1,175,000 on federal lobbying, the Center for Responsive Politics' research indicates.