New Jersey’s top 2022 lobbying firms revealed

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 10, 2023

New Jersey’s top 2022 lobbying firms revealed

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 10, 2023

Lobbyists spent a total $95.1 million last year, a slight drop of 0.9% from 2021, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission‘s (ELEC) annual lobbying report.

But even with that decrease, 2022 ranked as the fourth-highest lobbying spending total ever here in the Garden State.

ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle said that things are returning to a more normal pattern versus the throes of the pandemic.

“The last five years have been a relatively tumultuous time for the state and lobbyists,” said Brindle in the state’s yearly summary. “Things seem to be settling down somewhat.”

Topping the 2022 list of multi-client lobbying firms based on receipts was Princeton Public Affairs Group with $11.28 million spent.

Rounding out the top 10 are:
  • Public Strategies Impact – $7.58 million
  • CLB Partners – $6.01 million
  • The Zita Group – $3.81 million
  • MBI Gluckshaw – $3.79 million
  • Gibbons PC – $3.60 million
  • Optimus Partners – $2.93 million
  • Capital Impact Group – $2.34 million
  • McCarter & English – $2.20 million
  • Mercury Public Affairs – $2.17 million

“Thank you clients for making us Best in Class for 20 years,” Princeton Public Affairs Group tweeted in response to the report.

Special interests

The report also examined the top 25 special interest spenders since 2000, with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) topping that list with a total of $52.6 million spent over the past 20-plus years.

Rounding out the top five, NJEA was followed by:
  • AARP – $16.6 million
  • Verizon – $16.4 million
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield – $16.3 million
  • Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) – $15.9 million

“These 25 groups were responsible for one-fifth of all lobbying expenditures during that 23-year period,” said Brindle. “Most of these are large organizations with big financial stakes in New Jersey. Policies they support or oppose can have a significant impact on these organizations and the lives of New Jersey citizens.”

In fact, the top 25 spent nearly $285 million on lobbying since 2000. Last year, eight of the top 10 spenders also ranked among the top spenders since 2000. However, for the first time in a decade, no group spent more than $1 million—after four did in 2021.

2022’s top five lobbying spenders:
  • PSEG – $849,112
  • American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey – $716,928
  • NJ Realtors – $714,897
  • AARP – $648,590
  • New Jersey State League of Municipalities – $646,740

Last year, the number of lobbyists dipped slightly from 916 in 2021 to 914. Still, demand for lobbying services set a record for the fourth straight year with the number of clients reached hitting 2,343, which was up 2.6% from 2,283 in 2021.

The full report can be viewed here.