Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/17/2003 01:10 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 106 - DEFINITION OF LOBBYING                                                                                               
Number 0032                                                                                                                     
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  only order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.   106,  "An  Act  amending   the  definition  of                                                               
'lobbyist' in the  Regulation of Lobbying Act, and  as it applies                                                               
in  the act  setting  standards of  conduct  for legislators  and                                                               
legislative employees,  to define 'regular' and  'substantial' as                                                               
those  terms  describe activities  for  which  a person  receives                                                               
consideration  for  the  purpose of  influencing  legislative  or                                                               
administrative  action."   [In members'  packets  was a  proposed                                                               
committee substitute (CS),  Version 23-LS0405\H, Craver, 3/15/03,                                                               
and a proposed amendment.]                                                                                                      
CHAIR  McGUIRE reminded  the committee  that HB  106 was  drafted                                                               
based on the  framework already contained in  the Alaska statutes                                                               
regarding  lobbying.   She  noted  that  many on  the  committee,                                                               
excluding  Representative Gara,  have heard  complaints regarding                                                               
the  four-hour  limitation.   There  have  also  been  complaints                                                               
regarding:  how  one would know when the  four-hour limitation is                                                               
being violated,  what are the definitions  of "communication" and                                                               
"lobbying",  and what  is one  supposed to  do for  registration.                                                               
She noted that about 11  folks from different sectors of business                                                               
throughout the  state met with  her, and although  the complaints                                                               
varied,  most people  were concerned  that  during [an  upcoming]                                                               
meeting  of the  Alaska State  Chamber of  Commerce (ASCC),  they                                                               
would meet with  legislators and have a dinner, and  then be over                                                               
the four-hour limit.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  McGUIRE  noted  that initially,  [HB  106]  increased  the                                                               
number  of  hours  contained  in the  statute.    However,  after                                                               
further review  and discussion with  various folks, she  said she                                                               
decided to  change focus,  move away  from the  current statutory                                                               
framework,  and look  at  a different  model.   This  has led  to                                                               
conversations between  Chair McGuire's office, the  Alaska Public                                                               
Offices  Commission (APOC),  and  the ASCC  in  order to  develop                                                               
language that  would meet the goal  without allowing professional                                                               
lobbyists not  to register.   With this  in mind,  she explained,                                                               
Colorado's statute  and various ideas  have been combined  into a                                                               
CHAIR  McGUIRE reminded  the committee  that in  California there                                                               
are essentially no restrictions,  but one must report everything.                                                               
In Washington there is a  categorization of the different levels.                                                               
Colorado  [statutes]   define  a  volunteer  lobbyist   versus  a                                                               
professional  lobbyist on  the basis  of compensation.   However,                                                               
the statutes  in all of  the aforementioned states  are different                                                               
than the proposed [committee substitute  (CS)] in that [the other                                                               
states]  allow any  lobbyist the  ability  to give  money to  any                                                               
candidate, whereas the proposed  CS still prevents a professional                                                               
lobbyist from  donating to  candidates outside  his/her district;                                                               
she added that this has been upheld by the Alaska Supreme Court.                                                                
Number 0404                                                                                                                     
CHAIR   McGUIRE   explained   that  Barbara   Craver   [Attorney,                                                               
Legislative  Legal   Counsel,  Legislative  Legal   and  Research                                                               
Services,  Legislative  Affairs  Agency]  reviewed  the  existing                                                               
regulations  and  law  in an  attempt  to  develop  comprehensive                                                               
legislation.  She relayed Ms.  Craver's opinion that much of [the                                                               
work addressing  lobbyists] had been  done piecemeal  since 1976.                                                               
She  noted  that on  page  4,  line 21  of  the  CS [Version  23-                                                               
LS0405\H, Craver,  3/15/03], "payment" is defined.   Furthermore,                                                               
Section  7   includes  an   entirely  new   [paragraph]  defining                                                               
"communicate  directly".   She  offered her  belief  that in  the                                                               
past,  APOC's  position  was to  exclude  testimony  provided  in                                                               
public  hearings  as  well  as   preparation  and  research,  and                                                               
suggested that  the aforementioned  was done  through regulation.                                                               
[Version H] incorporates [such a  provision] into law, she added.                                                               
Also,  [Version  H]  defines  "lobbying".     She  then  posed  a                                                               
situation  in  which a  lobbyist  bumps  into [a  legislator]  on                                                               
his/her  way  to the  floor  session,  and  opined that  such  is                                                               
lobbying  [due]  to  the  person  attempting  to  influence  [the                                                               
legislator].  She opined that  this [definition of "lobbying"] is                                                               
meant  to  discount  communications   between  friends  when  the                                                               
discussion isn't related to legislation.                                                                                        
CHAIR  McGUIRE explained  that she  and  Brooke Miles,  Executive                                                               
Director, APOC, had  discussed and liked the  notion of [defining                                                               
"lobbyist"] based  on the percentage  of compensation  as opposed                                                               
to the percentage  of hours.  However,  the drafter inadvertently                                                               
expressed the [definition of "lobbyist"]  as a percentage of time                                                               
rather than a percentage of  compensation.  Therefore, she added,                                                               
there  will be  an  amendment offered  to  [define "lobbyist"  in                                                               
terms of  the compensation  received in a  calendar month].   The                                                               
aforementioned  proposed  amendment reads  [original  punctuation                                                               
     Pg. 6, Ln. 1 &2                                                                                                            
          "(A) is employed as an employee, [SPENDS] earns                                                                   
     not more than  25 percent of [THE  TIME] their employee                                                                
     compensation in a calendar month  [FOR WHICH THE PERSON                                                                
     RECEIVES COMPENSATION FROM THE PERSON'S EMPLOYER]..."                                                                      
CHAIR  McGUIRE  said  she  has  a  strong  belief  in  the  First                                                               
Amendment as well  as in the continued use of  watchdogs - agency                                                               
oversight - with regard to the  dealings of the legislature.  She                                                               
said she believes  that four hours of contact in  a 30-day period                                                               
is too little.   "What we have been doing  over the last 20-some-                                                               
odd years is basically ignoring the  law, and I think most people                                                               
will  admit  that,"  she  stated.   She  viewed  that  as  a  bad                                                               
practice.   Furthermore, the legislature being  located in Juneau                                                               
poses a particular challenge because  when people spend the money                                                               
to fly  into Juneau, they want  to have as much  contact with the                                                               
legislature during  that possibly one-time visit.   Moreover, the                                                               
short length  of the  session means that  legislation moves  in a                                                               
quick  fashion  and  thus  the  contact  necessary  with  various                                                               
legislators will amount,  on average, to more than  four hours in                                                               
a calendar month.                                                                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE  acknowledged the  argument that  one can  just pay                                                               
$100 and register as a  lobbyist and have unlimited communication                                                               
with the legislature.  However,  she said she disagreed because a                                                               
lobbyist  that makes  money should  register as  one, whereas  an                                                               
individual  merely  expressing  his/her   opinion  as  a  citizen                                                               
shouldn't  have to  [register]  as a  lobbyist  unless he/she  is                                                               
getting paid for expressing his/her opinion.                                                                                    
CHAIR McGUIRE  said she  welcomes all  constructive conversation.                                                               
She  also   acknowledged  her  frustration,  however,   with  the                                                               
characterization by  some of  media that HB  106 attempts  to let                                                               
all  lobbyists  slide  through  the  cracks,  not  register,  and                                                               
provide undue  influence.  She  stressed that  the aforementioned                                                               
is not her goal.                                                                                                                
Number 0877                                                                                                                     
BROOKE   MILES,  Executive   Director,   Alaska  Public   Offices                                                               
Commission (APOC),  Department of  Administration, said  that she                                                               
finds [Version H]  far more acceptable than  the original, adding                                                               
that the  original version was  troubling because it  appeared to                                                               
make  it possible  for even  a  professional lobbyist  to not  be                                                               
subject to  the law.  She  opined that [Version H]  appears to do                                                               
little if  any harm to  the public's  right to know  the identity                                                               
and activities of those who are  paid to and who make payments to                                                               
influence  the actions  of the  state's  public decision  makers.                                                               
Ms. Miles noted that [Version H]  would not have a fiscal impact.                                                               
In conclusion,  Ms. Miles also  noted that she was  only speaking                                                               
on  behalf of  APOC's staff  rather  than APOC  itself, since  it                                                               
hasn't had the opportunity to review [Version H].                                                                               
Number 0981                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  moved  to   adopt  CSHB  106,  Version  23-                                                               
LS0405\H, Craver,  3/15/03, as  the work draft.   There  being no                                                               
objection, Version H was before the committee.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE GARA sought confirmation  that APOC isn't taking a                                                               
position on this legislation at this point.                                                                                     
MS.  MILES  answered  that  she wasn't  prepared  to  provide  an                                                               
official APOC  position.   This legislation  is on  APOC's agenda                                                               
for its  meeting in Juneau next  week, she said, and  APOC may or                                                               
may not have an official opinion  on this legislation.  She noted                                                               
that  it isn't  unusual for  the  commission to  adopt a  neutral                                                               
position because  of the realization that  it's the legislature's                                                               
constitutional responsibility  to write  the laws while  it's the                                                               
executive branch's  - in this  instance, APOC's  - responsibility                                                               
to  administer or  enforce  the  law.   She  indicated that  [any                                                               
possible]  concern would  surround a  significant loss  of public                                                               
information  or a  fiscal impact,  and if  either were  the case,                                                               
APOC may weigh in.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  surmised,  then,   that  Ms.  Miles  wasn't                                                               
offering her personal opinion as  to whether existing law or this                                                               
legislation would be preferable.                                                                                                
MS. MILES  said that [APOC]  staff always appreciates  the intent                                                               
to  provide  a  brighter  line,   a  more  objective  method  for                                                               
determining  when a  person who  isn't  specifically retained  or                                                               
employed to be a  lobbyist would be subject to the  law.  In past                                                               
investigations  or public  inquiries,  the four-hour  requirement                                                               
was  difficult to  substantiate  with evidence.   Therefore,  the                                                               
ability to  review an  employee's work  time and  payroll records                                                               
[in  order to  establish whether  the individual  is a  lobbyist]                                                               
would be easier.                                                                                                                
Number 1141                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  relayed his view  that [Version H]  makes it                                                               
even  more difficult  to prove.   He  reminded everyone  that the                                                               
[existing] law  provides that a lobbyist  couldn't donate outside                                                               
his/her district when that individual  spends four hours of face-                                                               
to-face, phone,  or letter writing  time during a month  in order                                                               
to  influence legislation.   He  posed a  situation in  which the                                                               
chief executive officer (CEO) spends  a week of his time lobbying                                                               
to change the oil  tax laws in Alaska.  He inquired  as to how it                                                               
would be  easier to track  25 percent  of a person's  salary time                                                               
versus  four hours  of face-to-face,  phone,  and letter  writing                                                               
MS. MILES  clarified that letter  writing has never  been subject                                                               
to the four-hour  limit because it hasn't  been considered direct                                                               
communication  under APOC's  regulations; that  would remain  the                                                               
case  under   this  legislation.    The   problem  substantiating                                                               
evidence  for face-to-face  time and  telephone time  [arises] if                                                               
the legislators and/or staff don't  track it.  She indicated that                                                               
people  don't   always  track  meetings  either,   which  creates                                                               
difficulties as well.  However,  the work assignments and payroll                                                               
records  of a  company  can be  obtained.   She  made mention  of                                                               
APOC's subpoena power.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA posed  a situation  in  which the  CEO of  a                                                               
hazardous waste management company spends  a full week in Juneau,                                                               
but  not 25  percent of  that CEO's  salary time  for the  month.                                                               
Furthermore, if  that CEO  doesn't keep  time records,  how would                                                               
that situation be easier for APOC to decipher?                                                                                  
MS.  MILES answered  that there  would be  payroll records.   The                                                               
APOC could  substantiate that  the individual  was in  Juneau for                                                               
the  week, unless  the individual  was  on leave  without pay  in                                                               
which case the individual wouldn't be subject to the law.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA   pointed  out  that  the   payroll  records                                                               
wouldn't  specify  how  much  of  the  week  the  lobbyist  spent                                                               
lobbying  legislators.    Therefore,  APOC would  still  have  to                                                               
determine how much of that week  the CEO spent lobbying, which is                                                               
the same problem that exists with the four-hour rule.                                                                           
MS. MILES agreed.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA viewed  the  situation  [under the  proposed                                                               
legislation] as more difficult for  APOC because it would have to                                                               
count  not  just  four  hours  but upwards  of  40  hours  before                                                               
determining whether the person violated the law.                                                                                
MS. MILES replied  that she didn't know [whether it  will be more                                                               
difficult].  Off of the top of  her head, she said, she felt that                                                               
basing  it  on  the  pay  would  be  a  more  objective  measure,                                                               
although,  in  the end,  Representative  Gara's  position may  be                                                               
Number 1340                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  requested that Ms. Miles  review the CS                                                               
and  amendments  and produce  an  analysis  of each  change  this                                                               
legislation  makes   to  existing   law,  regulation,   and  APOC                                                               
policies, including APOC's [informal] opinions.                                                                                 
MS. MILES agreed to do so.                                                                                                      
CHAIR McGUIRE  returned to Representative Gara's  earlier remarks                                                               
and  offered that  the intent  is to  move away  from time  [as a                                                               
defining  element for  lobbyists].   She  mentioned  that in  the                                                               
proposed     amendment,    the     25    percent     refers    to                                                               
earnings/compensation,   not  time.      If   an  individual   is                                                               
compensated to  influence legislators and  if over 25  percent of                                                               
that  individual's  salary  per  month  is  for  the  purpose  of                                                               
lobbying  legislators  or  administrators, then  that  individual                                                               
would be considered a lobbyist.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA posed  the following  hypothetical situation                                                               
of a  corporate CEO who  is expected by  his employer to  work 50                                                               
hours a  week, approximately 210  hours a month.   That corporate                                                               
CEO  lobbies the  legislature for  a  full 40  hours during  that                                                               
month, and,  therefore, spends a  little less than 25  percent of                                                               
his/her  work  time   that  month  lobbying.     He  offered  his                                                               
understanding  that the  aforementioned  CEO will  never have  to                                                               
report  to  the public  that  he  lobbied the  legislature,  and,                                                               
furthermore,  after the  legislative session,  that CEO  would be                                                               
allowed to donate  to candidates outside of his  district as well                                                               
as  hold  fundraisers for  candidates  outside  of his  district.                                                               
Would that be correct, he asked.                                                                                                
MS.  MILES  answered  that  it   may  be  correct  under  certain                                                               
circumstances.    However,  if  part  of  the  CEO's  job  is  to                                                               
influence the actions of the  legislature, then [Version H] would                                                               
require  the   CEO  to  register  before   engaging  in  lobbying                                                               
activities.    If  [lobbying]  isn't   part  of  the  CEO's  work                                                               
agreement, then  the individual would fall  under the 25-percent-                                                               
compensation test.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  pointed out  that most  employment contracts                                                               
don't go to  that level of specificity.  He  posed a situation in                                                               
which  an employee's  contract didn't  speak to  lobbying but  an                                                               
issue  to the  corporation comes  up one  month and  the employee                                                               
spends  a week  speaking to  the legislature,  but it  amounts to                                                               
less than 25  percent of the time the employee  is expected work.                                                               
In  such  a  situation,  wouldn't  the  individual  avoid  public                                                               
scrutiny because  the individual  wouldn't be required  to report                                                               
as  a  lobbyist?   And  then  this  individual could  donate  [to                                                               
candidates outside his  district] after the session is  over.  He                                                               
asked if that would be correct under this legislation.                                                                          
MS.  MILES   replied  that   she  was   unsure.     However,  she                                                               
acknowledged  the possibility  that  some CEOs  could spend  less                                                               
than  25  percent  of  their   compensatory  time  attempting  to                                                               
influence  the legislature  and,  then, once  the campaign  cycle                                                               
begins, be  able to donate up  to $500 to the  candidate of their                                                               
Number 1668                                                                                                                     
PAMELA  LaBOLLE,  President,  Alaska State  Chamber  of  Commerce                                                               
(ASCC),  opined  that  the  remarks from  APOC  staff  that  [the                                                               
original  legislation]  would  keep professional  lobbyists  from                                                               
having to register raised an  invalid specter.  She stressed that                                                               
the  laws and  regulations  enacted by  the  legislature and  the                                                               
administration   have  significant   impact  on   the  cost   for                                                               
businesses because the  only taxpayers to the  state treasury are                                                               
corporate  and  business  taxpayers.    Furthermore,  it  is  not                                                               
uncommon for business  people to travel to  Juneau to communicate                                                               
with  legislators  and administration  staff  while  in town  [in                                                               
order] to maximize time spent in  Juneau.  It also isn't uncommon                                                               
for  business   people  to   go  on   trade  missions   with  the                                                               
administration because those in  business have the expertise with                                                               
regard  to  the  industries'  operations  and  the  cost  to  the                                                               
MS. LaBOLLE said  that moreover, business people  also speak with                                                               
legislators and  administrators at conferences and  other events.                                                               
Although the aforementioned  activities may be a  very small part                                                               
of what an individual does  for his/her business or company, APOC                                                               
determined  through  regulation that  such  [a  person] would  be                                                               
considered a lobbyist.  Therefore,  she explained, ASCC requested                                                               
that the legislature  create a new definition  that will continue                                                               
to  regulate  professional,  paid  lobbyists,  but  not  restrict                                                               
business people that are not in  the business of lobbying and for                                                               
whom lobbying is not part of their job.                                                                                         
MS. LaBOLLE said that she  could understand Representative Gara's                                                               
concern with regard  to business people being able  to give money                                                               
to candidates outside  their district.  However,  she pointed out                                                               
that  Representative Gara  represents a  relatively small,  well-                                                               
defined area of the state when  compared to others.  For example,                                                               
Representative  Foster has  a district  that  covers hundreds  of                                                               
square  miles of  Alaska.   She questioned  how those  with large                                                               
districts are  supposed to travel throughout  their vast district                                                               
if they have  to rely solely on money  from those constituencies.                                                               
Although the  aforementioned is another subject,  it impacts this                                                               
discussion, said Ms. LaBolle.                                                                                                   
Number 1920                                                                                                                     
MS. LaBOLLE  opined that  the media has  been overlooked  in that                                                               
news  editors and  columnist can  write unlimited  opinion pieces                                                               
with  the intent  of  influencing  legislation or  administrative                                                               
action.    However,  those  folks   don't  have  to  register  as                                                               
lobbyists  and,   thus,  their  First  Amendment   rights  aren't                                                               
impacted, she added.  Furthermore,  state and municipal employees                                                               
are exempt  from the existing  law and  would be exempt  from the                                                               
proposed law.   She offered her belief that  public officials and                                                               
employees  can lobby  an unlimited  amount of  time for  laws and                                                               
regulations  that increase  the cost  of government  or business.                                                               
She  said that  professional lobbyists,  already defined  in law,                                                               
and  business people  who  want  to spend  more  than four  hours                                                               
speaking about  the very laws  and regulations impacting  the way                                                               
they do business are the individuals  that have to register [as a                                                               
lobbyist] and must pay to do so.                                                                                                
MS. LaBOLLE turned  to Version H and noted that  she was aware of                                                               
the  change with  regard to  the 25  percent of  time spent  [per                                                               
month] lobbying and  was satisfied with that.   However, she said                                                               
she couldn't  speak to  the 25 percent  of income  stipulation in                                                               
the  aforementioned  proposed  amendment.    In  conclusion,  Ms.                                                               
LaBolle  relayed ASCC's  belief that  the state  will benefit  by                                                               
providing business owners greater access to state government.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  stated  that   [legislators]  rely  on  the                                                               
expertise  of   individuals  in  order  to   make  more  informed                                                               
judgments.    In  many  cases,  the  legislation  [requiring  the                                                               
expertise] is  not special interest  legislation.   Therefore, he                                                               
inquired about  Ms. LaBolle's assertion that  municipal and state                                                               
employees receive extra compensation  for being present in Juneau                                                               
and lobbying for their own  pocketbooks.  He pondered whether the                                                               
law should  be changed so  that those individuals have  to follow                                                               
through with the same registration  and reporting requirements as                                                               
private businesses.                                                                                                             
Number 2104                                                                                                                     
MS. LaBOLLE  acknowledged that  the aforementioned  [concept] had                                                               
been  discussed among  [ASCC members].   She  relayed her  belief                                                               
that it  would be fair if  as many Alaskans as  possible have the                                                               
opportunity  to  provide  as  much input  as  necessary  for  the                                                               
legislature and  the administration  to make  informed decisions.                                                               
She  opined  that  restricting   the  time  business  people  and                                                               
lobbyists  are   allowed  to  spend   with  the   legislature  is                                                               
tantamount to  restricting the  number of  books one  could check                                                               
out from  the library.   Therefore, she acknowledged,  she didn't                                                               
know   whether  further   limiting   peoples'   [access  to   the                                                               
legislature] is going in the appropriate direction.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM said  that he  is somewhat  disillusioned by                                                               
the  process.     While  people  are  trying  to   be  make  [the                                                               
legislature]  informed,   there  are  accusations   charging  the                                                               
legislature with  an inability  to make  a just  decision because                                                               
[those   informing  the   legislators]  are   attached  to   some                                                               
enterprise.    However,  those  attached to  a  state  union  are                                                               
[treated differently].                                                                                                          
MS. LaBOLLE said  that it's unfair when business  people with all                                                               
the  facts and  information on  a issue  are eliminated  from the                                                               
process  while public  employees don't  have the  same constraint                                                               
placed on their First Amendment rights.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS noted that he  was involved in politics in                                                               
two ways.   In  one capacity  he would  fly to  Juneau to  try to                                                               
influence legislation.   He  also was involved  in politics  as a                                                               
small-business person  who made appointments with  legislators to                                                               
discuss issues impacting his business.   In those cases, he would                                                               
automatically exceed  the four-hour  limit, although he  wasn't a                                                               
professional lobbyist.  Furthermore, he  said he didn't even know                                                               
about APOC then and was probably  in violation.  He remarked that                                                               
he didn't  sympathize with  the large  companies [that  lobby the                                                               
legislature],  but did  sympathize with  the "little  person" who                                                               
wants to influence the government.                                                                                              
TAPE 03-21, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2371                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA pointed out,  however, that under the current                                                               
law,  citizens  can  speak   to  legislators  regarding  changing                                                               
legislation.   Furthermore,  under  current law,  people who  are                                                               
paid [to influence legislation] can  speak to legislators as much                                                               
as  desired.     Therefore,  there  is   no  prohibition  against                                                               
accessing  government,  and businesses  can  be  heard under  the                                                               
current  law.   He  opined  that  the  real question  is  whether                                                               
businesses, after  being heard,  should be  allowed to  donate to                                                               
the legislators with whom they've  spoken.  The aforementioned is                                                               
of concern, he said.   Why, he asked, is it  not good enough that                                                               
business people  can be heard  as much as  they want to  be heard                                                               
under current  law?  Why change  the law to then  let them donate                                                               
and hold fundraisers  after the session for the  people with whom                                                               
they've spoken to?                                                                                                              
MS. LaBOLLE responded  by asking why business  people should have                                                               
any fewer  rights to  participate in  the electoral  process than                                                               
anyone else.  Furthermore, she  asked why business people have to                                                               
pay $100  in order to speak  more than four hours  and have forms                                                               
to fill out and report.   She also mentioned that failing to fill                                                               
out the reports correctly or in  a timely manner engenders a fine                                                               
of $50  a day.  She  emphasized that business people  are a class                                                               
of citizens  who want to  have the  same rights as  everyone else                                                               
when   it   comes   to    participating   in   the   legislative,                                                               
administrative, and electoral processes.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE   GARA   suggested    making   the   form   filing                                                               
requirements  easier and  changing  the $100  filing fee,  which,                                                               
incidentally,   only   applies   if   the   individual   receives                                                               
compensation for  lobbying to change  the law.   He asked  if Ms.                                                               
LaBolle would be  satisfied with those changes or  would she also                                                               
want  changes  allowing  lobbyists  to have  greater  ability  to                                                               
donate to candidates outside their  district and hold fundraisers                                                               
for candidates outside their district.                                                                                          
MS.  LaBOLLE specified  that  [ASCC] is  merely  saying that  the                                                               
business  community  is being  treated  as  a separate  class  of                                                               
citizens in Alaska and aren't afforded the same rights.                                                                         
Number 2227                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  McGUIRE noted  that she  has taken  money from  the public                                                               
employee unions  that she  supports, and  that these  same unions                                                               
have sent  people down  to talk  with her  about issues  they are                                                               
concerned with.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GARA, addressing Ms. LaBolle, said:                                                                              
     If we got  rid of the provisions of this  bill that let                                                                    
     people  who get  paid to  influence legislation  donate                                                                    
     more  money  to candidates,  if  we  got rid  of  those                                                                    
     provisions  and kept  the rules  the same  as they  are                                                                    
     today for people who  receive compensation to influence                                                                    
     legislation,  if we  left those  rules  the same  about                                                                    
     donations but just made the  filing forms more friendly                                                                    
     for you, made  the $100 registration fee  maybe a lower                                                                    
     amount,  if we  just address  the registration  fee and                                                                    
     the filing requirements for you,  would you be happy to                                                                    
     leave the law the same as  it is today as it relates to                                                                    
     donations  by   people  who   get  paid   to  influence                                                                    
MS. LaBOLLE  said no.  She  said that ASCC wants  business people                                                               
to have the same rights as  private citizens.  She indicated that                                                               
she still has  a problem with the regulation that  says a regular                                                               
and  substantial portion  of  someone's time  is  four hours  per                                                               
month.  She opined that  when the original legislation specifying                                                               
that  someone who  spends a  regular and  substantial portion  of                                                               
time be  registered as a lobbyist,  it was not meant  for that to                                                               
be  merely  four   hours  per  month,  as   was  interpreted  via                                                               
regulation.   However, because no one  challenged that regulation                                                               
at the  time, and since further  layers of change to  the statute                                                               
have  been  made,  members  of the  business  community  are  now                                                               
feeling  intimidated into  having to  register as  lobbyists, she                                                               
CHAIR  McGUIRE  opined that  when  making  laws, they  should  be                                                               
written using the  most objective terms possible.   Keeping time,                                                               
however,  is not  objective, and  she surmised  that doing  so is                                                               
difficult for APOC.   She mentioned that the goal  [of HB 106] is                                                               
to provide an objective analysis regarding  what it means to be a                                                               
professional  lobbyist.   She  opined  that  someone who  derives                                                               
income from  lobbying should register  as a lobbyist,  be subject                                                               
to disclosure  laws, and  be prohibited from  donating to  a wide                                                               
variety of  districts.   She mentioned  a newspaper  article that                                                               
had made  the point  that lobbying laws  are designed  to protect                                                               
legislators from lobbyists.                                                                                                     
Number 1972                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG turned  to  Ms. LaBolle  and noted  her                                                               
comment  regarding infringement  of First  Amendment rights.   He                                                               
remarked  that   no  one's  First  Amendment   rights  are  being                                                               
infringed  upon,  since  nothing  prevents  a  businessperson  or                                                               
anyone else,  for that  matter, from lobbying.   The  current law                                                               
merely stipulates  that one  must pay  a small  registration fee,                                                               
provide some financial  information, and file some  reports.  The                                                               
only  thing one  can't  do,  under current  law,  is  serve as  a                                                               
campaign  manager  or  director.   Incidentally,  he  noted,  the                                                               
"Wisconsin federal  court" struck down the  latter restriction as                                                               
being  an infringement  on free  speech;  therefore, perhaps  the                                                               
legislature should  investigate whether the  current restrictions                                                               
on lobbyists  with regard to campaign  issues are constitutional.                                                               
He  opined that  when  a person  makes the  choice  to lobby  for                                                               
legislation, that's  his/her personal  choice; he/she  merely has                                                               
to  decide whether  it is  worth  it to  give up  the ability  to                                                               
donate to people outside his/her  district in favor of being able                                                               
to lobby.                                                                                                                       
MS. LaBOLLE  opined that this  is not such  a small choice.   She                                                               
pointed out that the business  community is concerned with having                                                               
to disclose  their financial information, since  this information                                                               
would ultimately be available to competitors.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG opined,  however,  that  if someone  is                                                               
lobbying for  a piece of legislation,  the public has a  right to                                                               
know   whether  he/she   has  a   financial   interest  in   that                                                               
legislation, at least in some  manner.  He suggested that instead                                                               
of  using a  sledgehammer  on the  current  law, the  legislature                                                               
should  simply  look into  specifically  changing  what types  of                                                               
information must  be disclosed, for example,  making an exception                                                               
for a business's client list and other proprietary information.                                                                 
MS.  LaBOLLE  argued  that business  people  are  not  lobbyists;                                                               
rather, they are  merely citizens with a vested  interest in what                                                               
government does.   She noted that she is a  lobbyist and made the                                                               
choice to give  up some of her rights; however,  she did not want                                                               
business people to have to make  that same choice and be required                                                               
to fill out reports.                                                                                                            
Number 1678                                                                                                                     
TAMMY  KEMPTON, Regulation  of  Lobbying,  Alaska Public  Offices                                                               
Commission  (APOC), Department  of  Administration, after  noting                                                               
that  she   is  the  "Juneau  branch   administrator"  for  APOC,                                                               
indicated that  she has brought  for the committee copies  of the                                                               
registration  and  reports that  lobbyists  must  complete.   She                                                               
said, "I  think it's really  important to know that  employers do                                                               
not have  to provide their  client list.   I'm not sure  why that                                                               
misinformation  is  out  there,  but employers  do  not  have  to                                                               
provide a client list."                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG surmised,  then, that  only legislators                                                               
have to provide such a list.                                                                                                    
MS. KEMPTON agreed.  She said  that the reports that are filed by                                                               
lobbyists  and  by  employers  of lobbyists  are  not  nearly  as                                                               
onerous as  the financial disclosures that  public officials have                                                               
to file.  She continued:                                                                                                        
     The papers in front of  you, that's all that gets filed                                                                    
     with us.   Lobbyists file monthly  during session; they                                                                    
     file quarterly  thereafter.   So they  file a  total of                                                                    
     eight  reports.   There is  no  annual report,  wrap-up                                                                    
     report,  at  the  end  of   the  year.    Employers  of                                                                    
     lobbyists file quarterly, so they  file four reports in                                                                    
     a  year.   There is  a fine  if you  file late  and you                                                                    
     don't  have good  cause for  it.   For good  cause your                                                                    
     fine can [be]  totally waived or at  least reduced, but                                                                    
     the fine is not $50 a day; the  fine is $10 a day.  So,                                                                    
     I wanted  to make  those points  first while  they were                                                                    
     still fresh in everyone's mind.                                                                                            
CHAIR  McGUIRE noted  that  the forms  Ms.  Kempton provided  are                                                               
titled  "2003 Lobbyist  Registration  Statement," "2003  Lobbyist                                                               
Report," and "2003 Employer Of Lobbyist Report."                                                                                
MS. KEMPTON noted  that these forms are also  available on APOC's                                                               
web site.   She surmised that  Version H appears to  do little if                                                               
any harm  to the public's right  to know the identity  of and the                                                               
amounts   spent   by   persons  to   influence   legislative   or                                                               
administrative  action.   An employee  who spends  25 percent  or                                                               
less time  - or,  via the  aforementioned proposed  amendment, 25                                                               
percent  or less  of his/her  compensation -  in a  30-day period                                                               
will not have to register.   However, the employer is required to                                                               
report all payments  made for services, time,  and/or expenses of                                                               
that  employee for  or in  connection  with direct  communication                                                               
with a public  official if the employer also a  has a registered,                                                               
professional lobbyist.   So, businesses that  have a professional                                                               
lobbyist  and send  people here  to talk  to legislators  have to                                                               
tell  APOC who  was  sent, and  how  much was  paid  in terms  of                                                               
compensation, travel,  and per  diem.  So,  to a  certain extent,                                                               
APOC should still be getting that information, she added.                                                                       
Number 1468                                                                                                                     
MS. KEMPTON  relayed that APOC staff  is troubled by a  couple of                                                               
exclusions listed  in Section  7 regarding  direct communication.                                                               
The  first  one,  paragraph  (13)(A),  is  troubling  because  it                                                               
excludes any and all testimony in  front of public bodies such as                                                               
[the House Judiciary Standing Committee].  She added:                                                                           
     I have recently  done the history of  the lobbying law,                                                                    
     and  it was  [the House  Judiciary Standing  Committee]                                                                    
     who actually  did the majority  of the work in  1976 on                                                                    
     the lobbying law.  And  they were very clear about what                                                                    
     they  meant about  public testimony,  because that  was                                                                    
     something that  they went  over a lot.   And  what they                                                                    
     were trying  to do  was make sure  that the  public who                                                                    
     were not being paid to  testify didn't have to register                                                                    
     as  lobbyists;   they  didn't   want  them   to  become                                                                    
     lobbyists   strictly   because   they  had   come   and                                                                    
     testified.  What they meant to  get - I'm not sure they                                                                    
     wrote it as  well as they might have,  but hindsight is                                                                    
     always better  once you see how  things get interpreted                                                                    
     later -  ... and what  they said very clearly  at their                                                                    
     hearings was that the people  who were paid to come and                                                                    
     talk  to them  and then  later track  them down  in the                                                                    
     halls  and  in their  offices  and  [discuss] it  more,                                                                    
     those were the people who should be registering.                                                                           
CHAIR  McGUIRE mentioned  that she  was willing  to work  on that                                                               
definition because she  did not mean to  exclude the professional                                                               
lobbyist.   She  indicated  that  she had  meant  to exclude  the                                                               
businessperson that comes down to testify.                                                                                      
MS.  KEMPTON  pointed  out  however,  that  the  House  Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee,  back in 1976,  had also intended  to include                                                               
business  employees  who  were  being   paid  to  come  down  and                                                               
influence  the legislature.    "So ...  when  employees came  and                                                               
testified  and then  later  tracked them  down  and lobbied  some                                                               
more, those were the people they  were trying to get," she added.                                                               
She went on  to say, "They didn't think it  was that difficult to                                                               
get the  professional lobbyist;  what they  were looking  at were                                                               
the employees."                                                                                                                 
Number 1310                                                                                                                     
MS. KEMPTON, in response to  a question, suggested that paragraph                                                               
(13)(A)  be modified  so that  it  only includes  people who  are                                                               
solely testifying  in public  hearings.  "We  want to  make clear                                                               
that we are not  trying to get the person who  pays their own way                                                               
to come here and  sit down and talk to you  people and that's the                                                               
extent of  what they  do; we  certainly don't  want to  have them                                                               
feeling  like  they're supposed  to  be  registered," she  added.                                                               
And, of course, right now,  people who don't receive compensation                                                               
don't have to  and never have had to register  as lobbyists.  "We                                                               
want  to  be able  to  keep  that  very clear  distinction,"  she                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, in response  to the question of whether                                                               
plane tickets are considered compensation,  pointed out that this                                                               
issue  is  addressed  on  page  6, line  5,  in  that  reasonable                                                               
reimbursement for such is not considered compensation.                                                                          
CHAIR McGUIRE asked Ms. Kempton  to draft substitute language for                                                               
paragraph   (13)(A)  before   the  committee   next  hears   this                                                               
MS. KEMPTON agreed to do so.                                                                                                    
CHAIR McGUIRE noted that  current regulation defines "communicate                                                               
directly" as:   "to talk, either in person or  by telephone, with                                                               
any public official or legislative  employee; it does not include                                                               
time spent in the research,  drafting, preparation, or adaptation                                                               
of documents for use by the lobbyist."                                                                                          
MS. KEMPTON  pointed out that  the other  part of Section  7 that                                                               
troubles APOC staff is paragraph  (13)(E), which exempts a person                                                               
meeting or speaking  with a public official while  in the company                                                               
of  that person's  registered lobbyist.   She  said, "We  weren't                                                               
sure why that  was included there, but we're  also concerned, and                                                               
the attorneys on  the committee would certainly  know this better                                                               
than I, but the concern is that that may not pass muster."                                                                      
Number 1154                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  agreed that the aforementioned  provision is                                                               
"completely troubling."  He elaborated:                                                                                         
     The way  I read it, it  would allow a corporate  CEO to                                                                    
     come down  here with  a paid lobbyist  ... and  if they                                                                    
     came into your office, they  could spend all month with                                                                    
     you, but  since they're  with a paid  lobbyist, they're                                                                    
     not  considered  a  lobbyist.    I  think  that's  what                                                                    
     [subparagraph]  (E)  says.   If  you  lobby but  you're                                                                    
     sitting  next   to  somebody  who  is   a  professional                                                                    
     lobbyist,  you can  still donate,  you  can still  hold                                                                    
     fundraisers,  you're  not  considered a  lobbyist.    I                                                                    
     think it's pretty clear.                                                                                                   
CHAIR  McGUIRE mentioned  that  the  aforementioned language  was                                                               
meant  to address  situations in  which the  company employee  is                                                               
able to relay more of  an issue's specific technical details than                                                               
the lobbyist can.                                                                                                               
MS. KEMPTON pointed out, however:                                                                                               
     The other  problem we saw with  it is, that means  if a                                                                    
     CEO and their  registered lobbyist come in  and talk to                                                                    
     you,  the  CEO  would  never  run  the  risk  of  being                                                                    
     considered a lobbyist,  but if they come  in with their                                                                    
     vice president, now  they could run that risk.   And so                                                                    
     there just  seems to be some  equal protection problems                                                                    
     with this [subparagraph] as it's  written.  And I think                                                                    
     what we  were looking more at  - both for this  one and                                                                    
     for [paragraph  (13)(A) - rather]  than to  say, "We'll                                                                    
     do  away  with them  altogether,"  is  to ensure  that,                                                                    
     rather  than  exempt  it from  "communicate  directly",                                                                    
     have them count  [it] towards that 25  percent of their                                                                    
     compensation because,  especially (E), they  really are                                                                    
     in there lobbying.                                                                                                         
CHAIR  McGUIRE surmised,  then, that  the suggestion  is to  have                                                               
those types  of communications  count towards  the 25  percent of                                                               
one's salary which goes toward lobbying.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG, referring  to the  proposed amendment,                                                               
said it does  not track and it is not  grammatically correct.  He                                                               
asked, "How  can you tell whether  your 25 percent is  related to                                                               
lobbying or not  unless you track it  in time?"  It  seems to add                                                               
another layer  to it, he  remarked, noting  that he does  not see                                                               
the nexus or how the provision can be enforced.                                                                                 
Number 0937                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  McGUIRE mentioned  that the  proposed amendment  came from                                                               
conversations she'd had with Ms. Miles.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  argued,  however,  that  if  a  person                                                               
receives a yearly salary of  $100,000, one would not know whether                                                               
25 percent of it was for  lobbying as opposed to some other duty.                                                               
He went on to say:                                                                                                              
     I  don't know  how you  can quantify  that, unless  you                                                                    
     were  to try  and do  it by  time and  unless you're  a                                                                    
     lawyer  who  keeps track  of  their  time; nobody  else                                                                    
     does,  as  far as  I  know,  and  I think  lawyers  are                                                                    
     somewhat  getting away  from that  now,  too, to  task-                                                                    
     based kinds of [calculations].                                                                                             
CHAIR McGUIRE remarked, "This comes  from Colorado," and that she                                                               
would   try  to   find  out   more   information  regarding   its                                                               
applicability  prior  to the  legislation's  next  hearing.   She                                                               
added, "This is a tried-and-true method in other states."                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said, "I  would hope  we don't  vote on                                                               
this [amendment] today until we know  on that; I would ask you to                                                               
postpone it until next time."                                                                                                   
CHAIR McGUIRE said, "Okay."                                                                                                     
MS. KEMPTON, returning to Version H, said:                                                                                      
     We do  feel that  a really important  accomplishment of                                                                    
     [Version  H]  is  that  it  does  provide  ...  clearer                                                                    
       definitions than the current law does.  And bright-                                                                      
     line  definitions   are  easier   for  the   public  to                                                                    
     understand,   which  is   the  most   important  thing.                                                                    
     They're  also  easier  for us  to  enforce,  which,  of                                                                    
     course,  is  just a  nice  little  extra.   The  really                                                                    
     important part is  so that when the  public reads this,                                                                    
     they know  whether or not  they're a lobbyist,  or they                                                                    
     know what  constitutes lobbying.   And the  current law                                                                    
     doesn't  define lobbying;  this  Version [H]  does.   I                                                                    
     think that's a really good  addition.  I had a lobbyist                                                                    
     the other day tell me,  "Well, it's not defined; how do                                                                    
     I know when I'm lobbying?"                                                                                                 
MS. KEMPTON thanked  legislative staff for working  with her, and                                                               
the committee for providing her with an opportunity to testify.                                                                 
Number 0779                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he wanted to  know "how much of a gaping                                                               
hole  we're putting  into the  existing  law as  far as  allowing                                                               
people to donate  to candidates after they've lobbied  them."  He                                                               
     If you  look at page  6, lines 1-7, that  announces the                                                                    
     new 25-percent rule,  which takes the place  of the old                                                                    
     four-hours-per-month rule in some  sense. ... The way I                                                                    
     read it,  I don't  think a single  CEO anywhere  in the                                                                    
     state would ever  have to register as  a lobbyist under                                                                    
     this new  law.  But  I want to  find out if  I'm wrong.                                                                    
     So,  let's  assume  you  have  a  CEO  who,  like  many                                                                    
     professionals, let's  say, is assumed to  work 50 hours                                                                    
     a week -  that's the expectation of the  employer.  And                                                                    
     so, let's  say that's  roughly 210 hours  a month  in a                                                                    
     four-and-a-quarter-week month.  So,  this CEO of an oil                                                                    
     company  [for example]  works 210  hours a  month in  a                                                                    
     four-and-a-quarter-week  month.   Can you  tell me  how                                                                    
     much  that  CEO would  be  able  to work  to  influence                                                                    
     legislation  and  still  not  have  to  register  as  a                                                                    
     lobbyist and still be able  to donate to candidates and                                                                    
     hold fundraisers outside of their  district?  Up to how                                                                    
     much  are  we  letting  these  people  do  now  without                                                                    
     reporting, under this section?                                                                                             
MS. KEMPTON said  she could not provide  that information without                                                               
a calculator.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR   McGUIRE,   notwithstanding   Representative   Gruenberg's                                                               
request to delay  the adoption of the proposed  amendment and her                                                               
initial agreement to do so, asked  for a motion in order that the                                                               
amendment's specific language be before the committee.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked  if Ms. Kempton could  be provided with                                                               
a calculator.                                                                                                                   
Number 0657                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  made a motion to  adopt Conceptual Amendment                                                               
1 [text previously provided].                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG objected for  the purpose of discussion.                                                               
He asked members  to read the amendment so that  they, too, could                                                               
see that it is not grammatically correct.                                                                                       
CHAIR McGUIRE  remarked that  the purpose  of making  Amendment 1                                                               
conceptual was to allow the drafters leeway.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM said:  "It  reads like this, 'Who is employed                                                               
as an employee  earns not more than 25 percent  of their employee                                                               
compensation in a calendar month'."                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said, "That doesn't make sense."                                                                       
CHAIR McGUIRE  reiterated that since  Amendment 1  is conceptual,                                                               
the drafters could work on it  more.  She suggested the committee                                                               
vote on the amendment.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  pointed  out,  however,  that  if  the                                                               
amendment is  intended to address  compensation for  lobbying, it                                                               
currently lacks any reference to lobbying.                                                                                      
CHAIR  McGUIRE   observed  that   the  phrase,   "incurred  while                                                               
lobbying" can  be found on  line 5  of the language  that's being                                                               
amended on page 6.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG withdrew his objection.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA objected.                                                                                                   
Number 0407                                                                                                                     
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Gruenberg, Coghill,                                                               
Holm, Samuels, and McGuire voted  in favor of adopting Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1.   Representative Gara voted against  it.  Therefore,                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 5-1.                                                                            
CHAIR  McGUIRE  remarked that  with  the  adoption of  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1,  the committee could now  address the 25-percent-of-                                                               
compensation issue.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  returned to  his earlier example,  and again                                                               
asked how much  lobbying a CEO who works 200  hours a month could                                                               
do during a month without having to register as a lobbyist.                                                                     
MS. KEMPTON calculated that it would be 50 hours.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA surmised,  then, that  in this  example, the                                                               
CEO could  lobby 50 hours  a month,  the public would  never know                                                               
that person  lobbied because  he/she does  not have  to register,                                                               
and that  person could  donate to all  of the  legislators he/she                                                               
lobbies during that month.                                                                                                      
MS. KEMPTON replied:                                                                                                            
     Possibly.  And the reason  I say possibly is because it                                                                    
     would  depend  on  the company  that  [he/she]  ...  is                                                                    
     working for.  If the CEO  is working for a company that                                                                    
     has  a  registered  lobbyist,  their  compensation  and                                                                    
     expenditures  for coming  down here  will be  reported,                                                                    
     and where it gets reported on those forms I handed out                                                                     
     is on the "Employer of Lobbyist Report:  Schedule B."                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said,  "Let's assume  we're talking  about a                                                               
corporation that doesn't have  a registered professional lobbyist                                                               
on board;  instead, they've  decided they're  going to  use their                                                               
CEO, so they don't have a professional lobbyist."                                                                               
MS.  KEMPTON replied  that the  answer for  that example  is yes,                                                               
such  a  person  could  lobby  50 hours  a  month,  not  have  to                                                               
register, and donate to everyone he/she lobbies.                                                                                
CHAIR   McGUIRE  noted   that  the   aforementioned  example   is                                                               
hypothetical, and  that although the legislature  directs policy,                                                               
it is then up to the  agency to write regulations reflecting that                                                               
Number 0156                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  mentioned that  it might be  difficult to                                                               
calculate the  [compensatory] value of  a person's time  spent in                                                               
the airport attempting  to fly into Juneau, for  example, so that                                                               
he/she can talk to legislators.                                                                                                 
CHAIR McGUIRE  said that that was  one of the reasons  for moving                                                               
toward "this Colorado model of compensation."                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL pointed  out, however,  that compensation                                                               
must be extrapolated "out of a time element."                                                                                   
CHAIR McGUIRE  turned to  the issue  of volunteer  lobbyists, and                                                               
stated that they, too,  must fill out a form.   "So it isn't that                                                               
the public  doesn't have any  idea whatsoever about  what's going                                                               
on; ... they do know.                                                                                                           
TAPE 03-22, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  indicated that that statement  is incorrect.                                                               
The public only  gets to know a [volunteer  lobbyist] is spending                                                               
50  hours  a month  lobbying  if  a  corporation also  employs  a                                                               
professional lobbyist;  if the corporation  does not do  so, then                                                               
the public does  not get to know.  In  response to Representative                                                               
Coghill, he  noted that time spent  in the airport or  in a hotel                                                               
would  not count  toward  lobbying under  either  current law  or                                                               
Version H.   He ventured  that the only  time that counts  is the                                                               
time  actually spent  lobbying the  legislature,  adding, "so  we                                                               
really wouldn't  have this specter  of people who just  come down                                                               
for  a  couple  of  days  who  would all  of  a  sudden  have  to                                                               
CHAIR  McGUIRE remarked  that apparently  Representative Gara  is                                                               
clearer about the laws than is APOC.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  countered, "I  think the agency  would agree                                                               
with me."                                                                                                                       
CHAIR McGUIRE stated, "That's not the  case; they've had a lot of                                                               
difficulty in terms of interpreting this."                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS asked  how APOC  would even  know whether                                                               
somebody  from  a  small  company  spent  more  than  four  hours                                                               
lobbying the legislature.                                                                                                       
MS.  KEMPTON  said that  APOC  frequently  does not  know  unless                                                               
someone brings  the issue forward,  for example, by  calling APOC                                                               
and saying:   "So  and so  is in the  legislature lobbying  and I                                                               
don't see them on the [lobbyist] directory."                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM   remarked  that   most  CEO's   don't  sign                                                               
contracts  saying  how many  hours  they  will  work.   Thus,  he                                                               
surmised,  a percent  of compensation  is "the  only way  you can                                                               
look at it."                                                                                                                    
Number 0327                                                                                                                     
PETE  ROBERTS remarked  that Version  H is  a step  in the  right                                                               
direction;  four  hours  is   arbitrary,  subjective,  and  means                                                               
nothing because  "in some  cases, 15  minutes will  do it  and in                                                               
some cases 14  days won't."  He suggested,  however, that perhaps                                                               
it  would be  better  to calculate  one-quarter  or one-third  of                                                               
compensation for  a whole legislative  session, since  one cannot                                                               
predict whether  one will need  to spend  a lot of  time lobbying                                                               
during the first two months of  session, for example, but not any                                                               
time thereafter.                                                                                                                
Number 0427                                                                                                                     
GRAHAM G.  STOREY, Executive Director, Nome  Chamber of Commerce,                                                               
noted that the vast majority of  CEO's and business owners in the                                                               
Nome  area run  small businesses.    He opined  that the  current                                                               
four-hour limitation is unreasonable.   With regard to time spent                                                               
lobbying, he  said that  although he is  getting paid  to testify                                                               
today, he  has spent 118  minutes waiting for the  opportunity to                                                               
do so.                                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered  an  apology on  behalf of  the                                                               
committee for Mr. Storey's wait.                                                                                                
Number 0579                                                                                                                     
MARGARET  WOLFE  said  that  as  a citizen,  she  wants  to  know                                                               
everyone  who  is  being  paid  or compensated  in  any  way  for                                                               
lobbying the  legislature.  That includes  the businessperson who                                                               
will charge  the expenses  to his/her  business; it  includes the                                                               
salaries,  the consultation  fees, and  the contracts.   "Anybody                                                               
who is  being paid to  talk to the  legislature on behalf  of any                                                               
particular group  or interest,  I want to  know who  those people                                                               
are, I  want them registered  as lobbyists, I don't  care whether                                                               
it's four or four hundred hours," she stated.                                                                                   
CHAIR McGUIRE  suggested that Ms.  Wolfe ask  Representative Gara                                                               
to  introduce a  bill that  will require  all state  employees to                                                               
register as  lobbyists.   She asked Ms.  Wolfe whether  she would                                                               
support such a bill.                                                                                                            
MS. WOLFE said:                                                                                                                 
     Not when  you call  them and  ask them  to come  in and                                                                    
     tell you  things; that's different.   If they do  it on                                                                    
     their own  time, and  they do it  at their  own behest,                                                                    
     and if they  do it on vacation time, that's  fine.  But                                                                    
     I know that  the committees often call  employees in to                                                                    
     talk to them, and then it's a part of their job.                                                                           
CHAIR McGUIRE  said she did  not disagree.   She opined  that the                                                               
same analogy would hold true if  she were to ask a businessperson                                                               
to come in and testify.                                                                                                         
MS. WOLFE  disagreed.   She said the  businessperson is  going to                                                               
charge  those expenses  back to  the company,  whereas the  state                                                               
employee isn't going to get any more money.                                                                                     
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked,  "So  do you  support  regulation  of  the                                                               
testimony,  or the  lobbying, of  public  employees or  municipal                                                               
employees of  any kind of  any nature of  any amount of  hours of                                                               
MS.  WOLFE replied,  "No;  if they're  coming in  to  you, and  I                                                               
assume that they're doing it on  work time, then they better have                                                               
a work reason for being there."                                                                                                 
CHAIR McGUIRE asked:                                                                                                            
     Can you  envision a situation  where an  employee might                                                                    
     be in a contract dispute  with a company, and both have                                                                    
     two  different  sides  of  an   issue  ...,  perhaps  a                                                                    
     contract  dispute that's  before the  legislature?   Do                                                                    
     think it's fair that one  side gets the opportunity for                                                                    
     unlimited  access and  influence  over the  legislature                                                                    
     when the other side does not?                                                                                              
Number 0749                                                                                                                     
MS. WOLFE  pointed out  that she is  not speaking  about limiting                                                               
access.   She reiterated that  she does  not care how  many hours                                                               
are spent;  she simply wants  to know whether someone  is getting                                                               
paid to influence the legislature.                                                                                              
CHAIR McGUIRE  remarked, "So, in  other words, you  would support                                                               
government  employees or  municipal employees  simply registering                                                               
and  letting us  know the  time  that they're  spending and  what                                                               
they're influencing us on."                                                                                                     
MS.  WOLFE responded,  "And  if  they're doing  it  on their  own                                                               
behalf, then they better be taking vacation time to do it."                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GARA thanked Ms. Wolfe.  He went on to say:                                                                      
     I'm  just  going  to  state  for  the  record  that  my                                                                    
     comments have maybe not  been understood perfectly well                                                                    
     by  the  Chair.    I,  too, object  to  the  idea  that                                                                    
     somebody,  regardless  of whether  you're  a  CEO or  a                                                                    
     small-business person, can spend  large amounts of time                                                                    
     trying  to influence  legislation and  keep the  public                                                                    
     from knowing that  they're doing that.  So,  I'm not so                                                                    
     focused on  the CEO  example, either.   I think  if you                                                                    
     spend time  trying to influence legislation  and you're                                                                    
     paid for it, the public should know.                                                                                       
CHAIR McGUIRE asked Representative  Gara whether he would support                                                               
the  addition  of requiring  public  and  municipal employees  to                                                               
declare  when they  are attempting  to  influence legislation  or                                                               
administrative action.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE GARA replied:                                                                                                    
     There's   never  been   a  demonstrated   problem  that                                                                    
     municipal employees are spending  large amounts of time                                                                    
     down  here  trying  to influence  legislation,  but  if                                                                    
     that's a problem,  I'll certainly work with  you on it.                                                                    
     Right  now,   we're  talking  about   allowing  private                                                                    
     businesses to influence  legislation, and, since that's                                                                    
     what the bill  does, I've directed my  comments to that                                                                    
     problem.   But  I'd work  with you  if wanted  to start                                                                    
     addressing   something  having   to   do  with   public                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  asked, "How  do we  know, if  they're not                                                               
registered; how do we know there's not a problem?"                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said that during  his time as  a legislator,                                                               
he has had  no state employees walk through his  office, on their                                                               
work time, trying to lobby  to influence legislation.  There have                                                               
been school board folks, he  remarked, but not state employees or                                                               
municipal employees, while on city  or state payroll, spending 40                                                               
hours a  month trying to  influence legislation.  "At  least none                                                               
that I have seen, but if that  is a problem, then let's deal with                                                               
it," he  added.  But  there is a  huge disconnect with  trying to                                                               
deal with  any perceived public  employee problem by  opening the                                                               
floodgates  to  private  corporate   and  business  donations  to                                                               
candidates, as this bill would do, he concluded.                                                                                
Number 0907                                                                                                                     
STEVE   CLEARY,  Executive   Director,  Alaska   Public  Interest                                                               
Research Group (AkPIRG), said:                                                                                                  
     I appreciated  your earlier  comments ...  Madam Chair,                                                                    
     about keeping  the donation and  the fundraiser  ban on                                                                    
     professional   lobbyists,   and  also   your   comments                                                                    
     directed towards  continuing to have watchdogs.   And I                                                                    
     believe the  Alaska Public Offices Commission  has been                                                                    
     a  great watchdog  for Alaska  for a  long time,  and I                                                                    
     hope   they   continue   to   receive   your   support,                                                                    
     particularly in  the lobbying arena.   I did  have some                                                                    
     comments prepared from last time,  when I thought there                                                                    
     were  a lot  of  misunderstandings, but  it seems  like                                                                    
     there  are  still  many misunderstandings  as  to  what                                                                    
     lobbying is,  and I certainly  could have some  of them                                                                    
     Ms.  LaBolle of  the  [ASCC] was  [likening] ...  trade                                                                    
     missions, ... which  I assume would be  to other states                                                                    
     or  other countries,  ...  to  lobbying, and,  frankly,                                                                    
     that's mind-boggling  to me  that ...  businesses would                                                                    
     be  invited  to go  on  a  trade  mission and  have  to                                                                    
     consider that  lobbying, as well as  testimony in front                                                                    
     of  your committee  today.   As the  rule stands,  as I                                                                    
     understand  it,  this  is  not  lobbying,  and  so  the                                                                    
     gentleman up in  Nome didn't spend ...  his two minutes                                                                    
     nor his two  hours lobbying today.  And  if you testify                                                                    
     at  a public  hearing, that  is not  lobbying.   And we                                                                    
     already heard Ms. Kempton correct  Ms. LaBolle, who was                                                                    
     exaggerating  the  fines  at $50  a  day,  when  really                                                                    
     they're only $10.  The  registration fee is not onerous                                                                    
     and draconian, as we've heard before.                                                                                      
Number 1009                                                                                                                     
MR. CLEARY continued:                                                                                                           
     Really, the law  as it is now is  protecting Alaska and                                                                    
     allowing  open access  to the  lobbyists,  who are,  in                                                                    
     turn,  influencing  our  politicians.   And  it's  very                                                                    
     important for  Alaskans to continue  to have that.   As                                                                    
     we've  seen through  the hearing  today,  it comes  out                                                                    
     that  a  company,   without  employing  a  professional                                                                    
     lobbyist, could  have one or  more lobbyists  who could                                                                    
     lobby  up  to 40-50  hours  a  month  and not  have  to                                                                    
     register.   So, my  question to  the committee  is, why                                                                    
     would  the company  get a  registered  lobbyist in  the                                                                    
     first place?                                                                                                               
     There are  currently 11 companies registered  in Alaska                                                                    
     who have  four or more  lobbyists.  I'm looking  at the                                                                    
     Exxon   Mobil  Corporation,   right   here,  with   six                                                                    
     lobbyists.  If  they had six lobbyists  who split their                                                                    
     time equally, none of them  would be required to report                                                                    
     it [if] they didn't go  over 25 percent.  There's other                                                                    
     corporations   like   VECO  [Corporation]   with   four                                                                    
     lobbyists;  they could  split it  equally or  even just                                                                    
     cut back  a little bit  to 24 percent, then  they don't                                                                    
     have  to  register with  the  state.   Alaskans  aren't                                                                    
     going  to know  about it,  and they're  influencing our                                                                    
     politicians  and,  more  importantly, they're  able  to                                                                    
     donate  to  everybody,  across the  board,  [and]  hold                                                                    
     fundraisers for everybody.                                                                                                 
     Now, really I'll  finish with what I think  is the main                                                                    
     issue  here:    Citizen  access  to  government  versus                                                                    
     business   access  to   government.     And  obviously,                                                                    
     citizens run  businesses.  I would  never dispute that.                                                                    
     But  if a  businessperson comes  to Juneau  to talk  to                                                                    
     more  than  their   Senator  and  Representative,  then                                                                    
     they're a  lobbyist, plain and simple.   They're trying                                                                    
     to  influence   legislation  that  isn't   for  citizen                                                                    
     purposes; it's for their business  purposes.  And those                                                                    
     are  the kind  of  people that  Alaskans  need to  know                                                                    
     about  because  ...  these special  interests  have  an                                                                    
     undue  influence on  our political  system, so  much so                                                                    
     that we've  come up with  these regulations  to monitor                                                                    
     that.   And this bill  is bad public policy  because it                                                                    
     would undermine that.  I  thank you for the opportunity                                                                    
     to testify; I'd be happy to answer any questions.                                                                          
Number 1124                                                                                                                     
CHAIR McGUIRE  offered her belief  that currently,  testifying in                                                               
front  of committee  does count  toward the  time limit,  whereas                                                               
with Version  H, it would  not.  She  added that APOC  staff have                                                               
indicated  that they  would prefer  that such  continue to  count                                                               
toward a time  limit.  She suggested that  small businesses can't                                                               
afford to  hire professional lobbyists,  and that  the discussion                                                               
today was in  the interest of small businesses as  opposed to big                                                               
businesses such as Exxon Mobil Corporation.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS  noted  that  according  to  a  newspaper                                                               
article, over  92 percent  of Alaskan  businesses have  less than                                                               
five employees.   He said  he agrees that  professional lobbyists                                                               
for large businesses should be regulated.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  clarified  that   one  can  testify  before                                                               
committees as much as one wants  and not be considered a lobbyist                                                               
as long as he/she is not  getting paid while testifying.  He went                                                               
on to say:                                                                                                                      
     What  we're dealing  with in  this  bill is  regulating                                                                    
     people who get paid to  lobby.  But citizens don't have                                                                    
     to register  as lobbyists  if they're not  getting paid                                                                    
     to  change the  law.   The small-business  issue is  an                                                                    
     interesting one.   Certainly  we want  small businesses                                                                    
     to  be able  to approach  their representatives.   They                                                                    
     can;  under   current  law  they  can   approach  their                                                                    
     representatives.   The  question  is  whether they  can                                                                    
     donate to the representatives they meet.                                                                                   
     And  I would  just  point out  one real-world  example.                                                                    
     The Chamber  of Commerce  is a conglomeration  of small                                                                    
     and  large businesses  ... to  the extent  they support                                                                    
     the  Chamber's policies.   The  Chamber  is working  on                                                                    
     rolling  back a  certain portion  of our  minimum wage;                                                                    
     that's one of their agenda  items.  I think, regardless                                                                    
     of whether you're a small-business  owner [or] a large-                                                                    
     business   owner,  if   you're  coming   down  to   the                                                                    
     legislature to  try and  convince us  to roll  back the                                                                    
     minimum   wage,   if   you're   trying   to   influence                                                                    
     legislation and you're  being paid for it,  I think the                                                                    
     public has a right to know.                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  opined that currently  someone who is  not getting                                                               
paid can  testify as much  as one wants, but  only so long  as it                                                               
does not exceed four hours in a month.                                                                                          
Number 1395                                                                                                                     
ANDREE  McLEOD  thanked  the committee  for  the  opportunity  to                                                               
testify, both  at this  meeting and  at the  prior hearing  of HB
106.   She remarked that  intimidation is the undercurrent  of HB
106.    She  went on  to  relay  that  she  was involved  at  the                                                               
municipal  level in  getting lobbying  regulations enacted.   She                                                               
said she'd noticed that that  system was broken when she realized                                                               
that whenever  anyone sitting on the  assembly had to vote  on an                                                               
issue,  he/she  would  first  gaze at  someone  specific  in  the                                                               
audience for  a reaction.   This municipal  lobbying law  was put                                                               
into place  in 2000.  She  said that this system,  which had been                                                               
broken, is  almost fixed; almost  in that the amounts  being paid                                                               
to lobbyists is  still not known.   Money is a tool  that is used                                                               
to  assess  political activity,  she  remarked;  politics is  all                                                               
about relationships,  and assessing  those relationships  is done                                                               
through tracking  money with  the help  of existing  statutes and                                                               
MS. McLEOD said:                                                                                                                
     There is  a purpose  to the  regulation of  lobbying in                                                                    
     the  Alaska statutes,  and it  is that  the people  are                                                                    
     entitled   to   know    the   identity,   ...   income,                                                                    
     expenditures, and activities of  those persons who pay,                                                                    
     are  paid  or  reimbursed  for expenses,  or  who  make                                                                    
     expenditures  or   other  payments  in  an   effort  to                                                                    
     influence   legislative   or   administrative   action.                                                                    
     That's  there for  you to  protect.   It's  not up  for                                                                    
     discussion,  I don't  think; it's  there.   So ...  the                                                                    
     more  you try  to drive  those activities  underground,                                                                    
     the more  you direct  that information  underground and                                                                    
     out  of the  public light,  the less  transparent those                                                                    
     activities become.                                                                                                         
     And  then the  risk to  the  member of  the public,  in                                                                    
     order to follow  that money trail, increases.   And one                                                                    
     of the  things I experienced  as I was trying  to bring                                                                    
     about  some type  of change  into the  dynamics of  our                                                                    
     municipal  government  was  the level  of  intimidation                                                                    
     that came my way.   I have to be careful  in what I say                                                                    
     because I  don't want  to be sued,  but I  was verbally                                                                    
     assaulted, I was very intimidated.                                                                                         
Number 1540                                                                                                                     
     And right now we have  a clearinghouse; we have a place                                                                    
     to go when  we want to find out information.   And it's                                                                    
     a very safe  environment; we can do it safely.   If you                                                                    
     take  these activities,  that now  occur,  and you  put                                                                    
     them underground, and just  because you define lobbying                                                                    
     as  something  else,  [it]   doesn't  mean  that  those                                                                    
     activities  don't  occur  anymore.    They'll  just  be                                                                    
     called something else.                                                                                                     
MS. McLEOD continued:                                                                                                           
     When  we talk  about relationships  in politics,  it is                                                                    
     very  personal, and  in  order to  bring  some type  of                                                                    
     rhyme or reason to all  of these relationships, it gets                                                                    
     emotional.     And  we  need  to   stay  rational,  and                                                                    
     [tracking] money is a way  to keep it rational.  Having                                                                    
     a clearinghouse  that provides the information  so that                                                                    
     people  can go  to get  this information  - practically                                                                    
     anonymously we  can get this  information - then  it no                                                                    
     longer becomes  personal and we can  stay rational with                                                                    
     And I think paramount to  anything that you do, you not                                                                    
     only protect the  public's right to know,  which is put                                                                    
     in statute,  you not  only protect  the people  to find                                                                    
     out that information, but you  protect it in a way that                                                                    
     you maintain a  safe environment so that  they can find                                                                    
     out what's going on without  bringing any undue risk to                                                                    
     themselves or their families.   And I thank you for all                                                                    
     the time  you're taking on this;  ... as Representative                                                                    
     Coghill said, ... I hope  you would all bring a respect                                                                    
     for the  system and the institution  of our government,                                                                    
     our  rules,  and  the people  who  fit  them  together.                                                                    
     Please remember the public's right  to know - we're not                                                                    
Number 1640                                                                                                                     
CHAIR McGUIRE thanked Ms. McLeod and said:                                                                                      
     I don't  have a  different goal  in mind  than anything                                                                    
     that  you've just  said.    What I'm  looking  at is  a                                                                    
     system  that  isn't working  by  the  ... agency's  own                                                                    
     admission.  It's difficult, if  not impossible, to keep                                                                    
     track  of what  four  hours  means.   So  that kind  of                                                                    
     watchdog  that  you're talking  about  -  that kind  of                                                                    
     action    - is  not  occurring  right  now.   It's  not                                                                    
     because they're  incompetent; it's because it's  a very                                                                    
     difficult system to  try to keep track of.   I do think                                                                    
     it's  important to  have a  watchdog, I  do think  it's                                                                    
     important to have  this agency, but I think  we need to                                                                    
     try  to come  up  with  some method  ...  that is  more                                                                    
     objective  versus  subjective.   And  so  that is  what                                                                    
     we're  trying to  do.   I don't  have a  different goal                                                                    
     than any  single thing  that you said,  and I  hope you                                                                    
     understand that.                                                                                                           
CHAIR  McGUIRE announced  that  HB 106  [Version  H, as  amended]                                                               
would be held over.   [Note to the reader:  On  5/17/03, HB 106 -                                                               
Definition of Lobbying  had all text removed and became  HB 106 -                                                               
Telecommunications & RCA Actions.]                                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects