John “Jack” Erskine (pictured), the administrative partner in the Austin office of K&L Gates, adheres to the rules — so much that he asks his wife to register with the Texas Ethics Commission as a lobbyist, like he does. Erskine says his wife sometimes lunches with (and pays the bill for) the spouses of state lawmakers. The rules require lobbyists to report any expenditure on behalf of lawmakers or their families, so Erskine says, in an abundance of caution, he has his wife register so she can report any expenditures. Her total reported compensation as a lobbyist equals zero. But that's OK: K&L Gates reported compensation for the 2011 legislative sessions in the range of $595,000 - $3,725,000, according to the Texas Ethics Commission.
-- Miriam Rozen