$27M spent on Nebraska lobbying in last two years

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Special interest groups have spent nearly $27.4 million over the last two years trying to influence government officials in Nebraska.  The political watchdog group Common Cause reported Tuesday that $13.2 million was spent last year, a decline from the $14.2 million in 2011.  The spending included money for entertainment, gifts and event tickets, but the vast majority was spent on lobbyists who were hired to try to influence members of the Nebraska Legislature.  The largest lobbying expenses over the two-year period were generated by Canadian pipeline developer TransCanada, the Association of Nebraska Ethanol Producers and the League of Nebraska Municipalities.  Common Cause spokesman Jack Gould says Nebraska state law makes it difficult to track spending on golf outings, holiday gifts, luncheons and other items for individual senators.