Honolulu Rail Agreed to Pay Lobbyist $300,000

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that the contract was worth $1.5 million. It was worth $300,000 in the first year and subsequent years could be worth more or less. Civil Beat incorrectly extrapolated the five-year value of the deal in the earlier report based on the first-year fee.

UPDATED 9/15/11 7:31 a.m. WASHINGTON — Honolulu rail planners agreed to pay a Washington-based lobbying firm up to $300,000 in the first year of a five-year deal, according to a copy of the 2009 contract obtained by Civil Beat.

Lobbyist Denis Dwyer said the city needs him because matters related to rail arise so frequently that congressional delegates and their staffers would be overwhelmed without additional help.

"If we were to go to them all the time with every issue that we have, we'd be at their doorstep not just every day but every couple hours," Dwyer told Civil Beat in a phone interview Wednesday.

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