Lobbying is a big and ever-growing business — not just in Washington but also here in the Garden State. In 2009, there were 1,001 registered lobbyists in the state, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Our lobbyists spent $57.6 million in an attempt to influence legislators and the Governor’s office, a 3.4 percent increase over 2008. The commission defines a lobbyist as a person who is compensated to communicate with, or provide a benefit to, a state official to influence legislation, regulations or governmental processes. Those processes include contracts, permits, rate making and so on. Every lobbyist who receives or spends $2,500 a year is required to file reports with the commission, which now puts most of its information online. The three largest multiclient lobbyists in New Jersey (all with offices in Trenton) are Princeton Public Affairs Group Inc, which received fees of $6.9 million in 2009; Public Strategies Impact LLC, with fees of $5.8 million; and Martin-Bontempo-Matacera-Bartlett-Gluckshaw, with $3.7 million.