Arrowgrass Blames Error For Making It Calif.'s Biggest Lobbyist

May 3 2013 | 9:37am ET

A New York hedge fund is California's biggest-spending lobbyist—and by a wide margin. Or it's not; it depends on who you ask.

California's Secretary of State said that Arrowgrass Capital Partners spent $2.2 million on three lobbyists, more than double the second-biggest spender, the Western States Petroleum Association, Sacramento's reigning lobbying king. The secretary's office said those three employees are placement agents.

Arrowgrass begs to differ, noting that the three are actually in-house employees and not outside placement agents, and that its status as the state's richest lobbyer is due to an error.

"We're not really lobbyists but we get caught by the California lobbyist law," Stephen Ellwood, the hedge fund's chief compliance officer, told the Sacramento Bee. But, he added, "our first-quarter filing contains a manifest error which we are working to correct."

Ellwood said that, once the correction has been made, Arrowgrass will fall out of the top 20 lobbyists in California, meaning it spent less than $268,080 lobbying in the state in the first quarter.

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