The American Society of Association Executives continues to lobby against the IRS vague new salary disclosure requirements, Clarke said. He also said the new information may soon be used improperly by recruiters and rival trade groups looking to poach top lobbyists and communications staffers.
If you put a big field of salary disclosure in there, other organizations will be using that information, he said. Youll have cold calling from brokers. We really believe that will happen.
With year-to-year tax data not yet available and returns still streaming in, its difficult to draw broad conclusions about salary trends at downtown trade associations yet. Still, many prominent groups such as PhRMA, Americas Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association, AARP and the American Petroleum Institute are already online.
For example, AHIP lobbyist Scott Styles was paid $535,000 overall in 2008, while co-worker Carmella Bocchino made $522,000 and Candy Schaller took home $402,000. American Hospital Association lobbyist Thomas Nickels was paid a total of $811,000 in 2008, while his colleague Linda Fishman made $517,000.
AHIP and AHA both declined to comment on employee salaries.
Lobbyists for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also appeared on the organizations most recent tax filing. The trade associations top lobbyist, Bruce Josten, was given a total 2008 compensation package of $1.14 million, including a $622,000 base salary, $300,000 bonus and $61,000 in deferred compensation.
Another chamber lobbyist, Rolf Lundberg, was paid a total of $567,000 in 2008, including $426,000 in base pay, a $72,000 bonus and $26,000 in deferred compensation.
Chamber spokesman J.P. Fielder said his organization is agnostic on the IRS new requirements but said Josten and Lundberg are on the tip of the spear in terms of the debate over a breadth of policy issues on how to create jobs.
They handle broad portfolios in terms of issues that will support U.S. businesses, Fielder said. We go out and hire the best executives, and we pay them salaries that are commensurate with their experience.