Taxpayer-Paid Lobbyists in Pierre

Capitol_exterior2The taxpaying public doesn’t have a chance against this crew.

Here is why:

  •  A “Public” Lobbyist is someone who works for and represents a department of SD Government.
  •  There are 301 Public Lobbyists registered for the State of South Dakota representing 35 administrative departments. (There are only 224 private lobbyists, volunteers and paid employees,
    registered to represent 257 businesses & organizations in SD.)
  •  Public Lobbyists are paid to lobby by the taxpayers.
  •  Tax dollars pay not only the salaries of the Public Lobbyists, but also pay any expenses they incur when they lobby in the halls of the capitol. It is presently unknown if they are paid any additional salary to lobby for their departments.
  •  The job of the Public Lobbyist is to represent and protect the interests of their boss (the governor), their jobs and their taxpayer funded department missions and budgets.
  •  The Public Lobbyists are touted as ‘independent experts”, but Public Lobbyists are, in reality, self-interested, taxpayer paid government workers.
  •  Public Lobbyists use their taxpayer funded positions to lobby the legislative branch of government, often against the best interests of or the will of the taxpaying public.
  •  The departments of the administrative branch of government also produce bills which they submit to the Legislature, and then advocate for the bills with their department’s Public Lobbyists.
  •  The loud and ever present voices of the Public Lobbyists at the SD Legislature, the people’s branch of government, overwhelm the voices of the people.

Is it any wonder that the voice of the people of SD seems to be only a whisper in Pierre?

Here are the numbers as of 1-22-2015:

Number of SD State Departments with registered lobbyists: 35

Number of registered Public Lobbyists: 301

Woodrow Wilcox


Number of registered lobbyists per department:

Animal Industry Board 3
Attorney General 15
Board of Medical & Osteopathic
Examiners 1
Board of Regents 19
Brand Board 1
Bureau of Administration 16
Bureau of Human Resources 6
Bureau of Information &
Telecommunications 15
Department of Agriculture 10
Department of Corrections 8
Department of Education 9
Department of Environment & Natural Resources 5
Department of Game, Fish & Parks 8
Department of Health 8
Department of Human Services 6
Department of Labor & Regulations 14
Department of Public Safety 16
Department of Revenue 26
Department of Social Services 9
Department of Military 3
Department of Tourism 6
Department of Transportation 7
Department of Tribal Relations 2
Department of Veterans Affairs 6
Governor’s Office 12
Governor’s Office of Economic Development 6
Housing Development Authority 5
Public Utilities 14
School & Public Lands 4
SD Building Authority 8
SD Arts Council 2
SD Retirement System 13
State Auditor’s Office 5
State Treasurer’s Office 2
Unified Judicial System 11


This document has been researched and compiled by:

SD Citizens for Liberty
PO Box 7611
Rapid City, SD

Legislators Email a Legislator Governor
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