Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/09/1996 10:03 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HB 368 - ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM                                    
 HB 317 - ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM                                     
 The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs             
 Committee was HB 368 and HB 317.                                              
 CHAIR JAMES called on Representative David Finkelstein to explain             
 the committee substitute.                                                     
 CHAIR JAMES announced she wanted to move the bill forward today.              
 Number 2381                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to adopt CSHB 368(STA) (9-LS1348/C) as             
 a working document.  Hearing no objection, it was so adopted.                 
 Number 2413                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN explained the comparison chart               
 distributed to the committee members.  The first column contained             
 the provisions in the current law, the second column contained the            
 provisions in the initiative, and the third column contained the              
 provisions in the committee substitute (9-LS1348/C).  The major               
 provision were:  contributions from individuals, contributions from           
 parties, contributions not from individual (i.e. corporations,                
 unions), contributions from groups of individuals, lobbyists, when            
 money can be raised, personal use of campaign funds, carry forward            
 of campaign surpluses, out-of-state contributions, independent                
 expenditures, public funds, serious violations, civil penalties,              
 and power to enforce.                                                         
 TAPE 96-33, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0063                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wondered where a party was defined.                      
 CHAIR JAMES replied that would be addressed in the proposed                   
 Number 0470                                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES complimented Representative Finkelstein for his work on           
 the comparison chart.  She explained there were two definitions of            
 a political party presented.  She liked the first definition.  The            
 second definition would include all organizations affiliated with             
 a political party in the contribution limits.  She was concerned              
 about the organizations that did not want to be a part of the party           
 and remain a group.                                                           
 Number 0518                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN concurred with her support for the first                 
 definition.  He stated the second definition would cause confusion.           
 Number 0603                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopted Amendment 1 (9-                        
 LS1348/C.1/B).  No one objected, but the discussion continued.                
 Number 0626                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked if the amendments had been presented            
 to the initiative movement, and wondered which political party                
 definition he supported.                                                      
 Number 0640                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied there really was not a lot of              
 difference between the two definitions.  The key question was who             
 determined who was a subdivision, and both definitions defined it             
 as 3 percent of the total votes casted.  He stated the                        
 differentiation between a subordinate unit and other units was                
 artificial.  All the groups out there should have a choice of                 
 joining the party, or being their own group, and both definitions             
 allowed that.  A differentiation was not intended in the                      
 initiative, however.                                                          
 Number 0765                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the first definition allowed a clear               
 separation between the groups that were not traditional party                 
 subgroups.  Furthermore, it would allow the differentiation between           
 the subgroups of the parties and the affiliated groups of the                 
 Number 0821                                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES explained the concept of the district and state central           
 party committees.   A coordination of the contribution limits was             
 necessary amongst all the subordinates, therefore, a centralized              
 decision making process was needed.  She called it an unwieldy                
 Number 1026                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said everyone agreed that the affiliated           
 groups should have a choice, and both definitions allowed that                
 choice.  It was more obvious, however, in the second definition               
 under subsection (C).  According to the first definition it was               
 necessary to be subsumed within the party.  He was afraid the first           
 definition would be interpreted to preclude some groups from                  
 becoming part of the party if they wanted to.  The second                     
 definition gave the choice under subsection (C).                              
 Number 1076                                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES said she did not read the definitions the same as                 
 Representative Finkelstein.  A political party according to the               
 second definition did not have the option to be a group, but only             
 a political party.                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied he interpreted it differently.             
 There was nothing that mandated it in the second definition.                  
 Subsection (C) read, "an organization that, by virtue of the rules            
 or bylaws of the organized group of voters qualifying as a                    
 political party under (A) of this paragraph, is affiliated with the           
 political party."                                                             
 Number 1126                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER replied subsection (C) did not give the party           
 the ability say "yes" or "no" to that.                                        
 Number 1134                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied according to subsection (C) it             
 was up to the rules of the party.                                             
 Number 1144                                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES responded the only choice for a person to be a group              
 was for the party to disassociate with them.  It was not in the               
 best interest of either Parties to cut the life-line.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN replied, according to that                         
 interpretation, both definitions achieved the same thing.                     
 CHAIR JAMES asked if there was further objection to Amendment 1.              
 Hearing none, it was so adopted.                                              
 Number 1179                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN wondered about lobbyists contributing in their            
 own district.  He said lobbyists lived mostly in Anchorage and                
 Number 1247                                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES replied it was a perception issue.  The general public            
 did not want a lobbyist to give money to anybody, but he also had             
 a general right as a citizen of a district to contribute to his               
 district.  It was a constitutional issue as well.  Furthermore, it            
 was not a problem for one that did not have a lobbyist in his                 
 Number 1343                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON stated most lobbyists would probably agree            
 with a total ban on giving money.                                             
 CHAIR JAMES agreed with Representative Robinson.  Lobbyists felt              
 obligated to give money in order to do business again.                        
 Number 1388                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt Amendment 2 (9-LS1260/F.2).              
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Finkelstein to explain the                   
 Number 1403                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN explained Amendment 2 was a technical              
 and conforming amendment.  It removed "50 percent" in current law             
 and inserted "33 1/3 percent" for the support or opposition of a              
 candidate and the inclusion of the candidates name as part of the             
 group.  This was based on a recommendation from the Alaska Public             
 Offices Commission (APOC).                                                    
 CHAIR JAMES stated hearing no further objection, Amendment 2 was so           
 Number 1454                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt Amendment 3 (9-LS1260/F.3).              
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Finkelstein to explain the                   
 Number 1466                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN explained Amendment 3 was a technical              
 amendment.  It removed unnecessary language.  It did not affect the           
 content, however.                                                             
 CHAIR JAMES stated hearing no further objection, Amendment 3 was so           
 Number 1488                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to adopt Amendment 4 (9-LS1260/F.4).              
 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Finkelstein to explain the                   
 Number 1500                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN explained Amendment 4 was a technical              
 amendment.  An individual could make a contribution to a political            
 party as well as a group.                                                     
 CHAIR JAMES stated hearing no further objection, Amendment 4 was so           
 CHAIR JAMES explained Amendment 2 - 4 should read CSHB 368(STA) and           
 not CSSB 191( ) as expressed in the draft amendments.                         
 Number 1626                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved that CSHB 368(STA) (9-LS1348/C) move            
 from the committee with individual recommendations and attached               
 fiscal notes.  Hearing no objection, it was so moved from the House           
 State Affairs Committee.                                                      
 CHAIR JAMES announced she would attached a $0 fiscal note.                    
 CHAIR JAMES apologized to the teleconference testifiers for not               
 calling on their testimony.  She suggested they submit a written              
 statement for the record.                                                     
 Number 1770                                                                   
 KATHY ASHBY responded via teleconference in Anchorage that it would           
 be futile.  She only suggested that to make us feel better.                   
 Number 1818                                                                   
 CHAIR JAMES replied it would become part of the record with a                 
 statement explaining the circumstances.  She apologized again.                
 MS. ASHBY said she felt very disaffected by the whole procedure.              
 She felt betrayed.  The information the committee members were                
 discussing today did not match the information at the Legislative             
 Information Office (LIO) in Anchorage.                                        
 CHAIR JAMES apologized to Ms. Ashby again.  She announced she would           
 personally forward information to her and personally notify her of            
 the next time the bill would be heard.                                        

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