Lots of risk involved in hiring lobbyist

August 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish President V. J. St Pierre has asked the council to approve his decision to hire a lobbyist to secure funds for parish projects. It's an idea that's never been tried before in the parish.

And residents may not be familiar with what a lobbyist is supposed to do.  Richard Egle, former parish president of Lafourche, will go to Washington events and attempt to keep St. Charles Parish on the minds of the powers that be - those that control the millions of dollars needed to help put parish projects on the fast track. It's an expensive risk, and there's really no guarantee that he'll be able to secure anything.

Although his track record is proven, it's been proven in the business sector - not the government arena. Egle hasn't ever lobbied for a parish before.

Some sources reveal that he's well connected in Washington, and ultimately that’s what it really boils down to. But does that mean they will open their wallets and pour funding into St. Charles Parish Projects?

Voters all across St. Charles Parish made a clean sweep this time around and called for a change in the way in which parish politics were being handled. Residents wanted new leadership, which often means new ideas. No previous parish administration has ever used a lobbyist to try to secure funding.  Now residents will have to wait and see if the council will approve the measure and just how much funding Egle can actually acquire for the parish if he is hired.
Lobbying is big business in the government sector. 

The lowest paid lobbyist made $75,892 this year, according to CNN Money Matters. The median lobbyist made $94,236 and the highest paid lobbyist, that means those with the most experience negotiating for government bodies, made $130,000.  A source says Egle asked for $150,000 annually starting out and then lowered his salary to $100,000 after parish officials commented that the salary was too high.

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