Is there an 800-pound gorilla among lobbying groups in state government anymore?
“As far as I’m concerned, there has never been ‘a’ single such gorilla lobbying force in the state Capitol,” said Inside Michigan Politics Editor Bill BALLENGER. “It’s always depended on what issue you’re talking about, and when it was the focus of everyone’s attention. Certainly, all the groups you mention have been considered large animals at various times and still are. “But don’t forget the huge multi-client lobbying firms, which are not clearly identified with any single special interest yet arguably exercise as much clout on various issues as any individual trade group,” Ballenger added. According to political strategist Bob KOLT, clout has been dispersed and flexibility may now count more than muscle. “No, I don’t see any one group being dominant in government today,” Kolt said. “Some lobby groups are clearly still more powerful than others. The truth is that everyone is in the arena together and special interest issue coalitions that are flexible tend to be more powerful than i