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Tony Batt

Gambling Lobbyist Earns More than $1 Million Annually

1 March 2004

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The top lobbyist for Nevada casinos in Washington receives an annual compensation package of more than $1 million, according to a new survey.

Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association, is paid a salary of $974,926 a year, making him the 18th-highest paid trade executive in the nation's capital.

Fahrenkopf's total compensation package, including salary, benefits and allowances, comes to $1,047,109 million a year. That ranks 29th among executives of trade associations and other groups.

"My board of directors sets my salary, I don't," Fahrenkopf said Friday. "I represent the industry to the best of my ability. That is all I can say."

The survey appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of National Journal. The magazine said it was based on reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service in 2002 or 2001.

Fahrenkopf's salary has jumped almost 30 percent from $752,500 since National Journal last conducted its survey in 2002.

Fahrenkopf's total compensation package increased 28 percent from $817,797 in the past two years.

The Washington lobbyist receiving the highest compensation package is Robert Glauber of the National Associations of Securities Dealers. He received $9.43 million in salary, benefits and allowances.

The highest salaried lobbyist is Gene Upshaw of the National Football League Players Association, who received annual pay of $2.73 million.

By comparison, the president of the United States receives a yearly salary of $400,000 and the five members of Nevada's congressional delegation are paid about $158,000 each per year.

Asked if the pay disparity is good for democracy, Fahrenkopf demurred.

"I don't make judgments like that," he said. "Many people go into public service and then go back to the private sector. What is Bill Clinton making today?"