The progress up to now has convinced the bill’s backers. including two Arizona companies that deal in electronic traffic enforcement systems, that it is worth their while to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lobbyists to persuade lawmakers to push it through by the end of the legislative session June 8.
Lobbying reports filed with the Office of State Ethics reveal a lineup of lobbying talent that has grown since the bill gained preliminary approval March 18 from the legislature’s transportation committee. One of the most recent enlistees is lawyer-lobbyist and power broker Thomas Ritter, the former Democratic speaker of the state House of Representatives.
Ritter is only part of an experienced group of Capitol operatives whose political affiliations cover both sides of the aisle in the Democrat-controlled House and Senate. They include:
•P.J. Cimini, longtime Capitol lobbyist and lawyer from the Hartford government relations firm Capitol Strategies Group LLC. The firm, which also includes former Democratic West Hartford Councilman Patrick McCabe, was retained in January for $5,000 a month including sales tax, or an anticipated $60,000 in 2011, by American Traffic Solutions Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz. The company describes itself as “a leading provider of technology and business solutions for road safety camera and electronic toll enforcement programs worldwide.”
And on and on. Business as usual.