Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/26/2000 01:00 PM House JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE April 26, 2000 1:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Pete Kott, Chairman Representative Joe Green Representative Norman Rokeberg Representative Jeannette James Representative Lisa Murkowski Representative Eric Croft Representative Beth Kerttula MEMBERS ABSENT All members present OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Sharon Cissna Representative Ethan Berkowitz COMMITTEE CALENDAR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 179 "An Act eliminating the Alaska Public Offices Commission and all campaign contribution and expenditure limits; transferring the administration of lobbying, conflict of interest, and financial disclosure statutes from the Alaska Public Offices Commission to the division of elections; relating to reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures; defining 'full disclosure,' 'purposely,' 'recklessly,' and 'resident'; amending the definition of 'contribution,' 'group,' and 'political party'; changing the residency requirements for candidates for public offices; and providing for criminal penalties for violation of these provisions." - MOVED CSSSHB 179(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS ZERO FISCAL NOTE PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 179 SHORT TITLE: APOC REPEAL: CAMPAIGN/DISCLOSURE/LOBBYIST Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 4/07/99 671 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 4/07/99 671 (H) STA, JUD, FIN 4/15/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 4/15/99 (H) <BILL HEARING CANCELED> 4/19/99 866 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED 4/19/99 866 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 4/19/99 866 (H) STA, JUD, FIN 4/22/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 4/22/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 4/22/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 4/27/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 4/27/99 (H) BILL HEARING CANCELED 4/29/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 4/29/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 4/29/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 5/06/99 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 5/06/99 (H) HEARD AND HELD 5/06/99 (H) MINUTE(STA) 4/25/00 (H) STA AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 102 4/25/00 (H) Moved CSSS HB 179(STA) Out of Committee 4/26/00 3532 (H) STA RPT CS(STA) NT 1DP 4NR 4/26/00 3532 (H) DP: JAMES; NR: GREEN, HUDSON, 4/26/00 3532 (H) WHITAKER, OGAN 4/26/00 3533 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (H.STA) 4/26/00 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE JOHN COGHILL Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 416 Juneau, Alaska 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SSHB 179. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 00-71, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIRMAN PETE KOTT called the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.; no other members were present at the time. He immediately recessed the meeting to the call of the chair. CHAIRMAN KOTT called the meeting back to order at 8:35 p.m. All members were present at that time. He noted that Representative Cissna was also present. HB 179 - APOC REPEAL: CAMPAIGN/DISCLOSURE/LOBBYIST CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the committee would take up SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 179, "An Act eliminating the Alaska Public Offices Commission and all campaign contribution and expenditure limits; transferring the administration of lobbying, conflict of interest, and financial disclosure statutes from the Alaska Public Offices Commission to the division of elections; relating to reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures; defining 'full disclosure,' 'purposely,' 'recklessly,' and 'resident'; amending the definition of 'contribution,' 'group,' and 'political party'; changing the residency requirements for candidates for public offices; and providing for criminal penalties for violation of these provisions." CHAIRMAN KOTT invited Representative Coghill to explain changes to the bill. [Before the committee was CSSSHB 179(STA), the title of which read: "An Act relating to the reporting of campaign contributions and to the identification of political campaign communications."] REPRESENTATIVE JOHN COGHILL, sponsor of SSHB 179, explained that the bill has been changed from a repeal of APOC [Alaska Public Offices Commission] to a reporting of campaign contributions and identification of some communications. It makes the following changes. Section 1, amending [AS 15.13.040(a)], was added the previous day in the House State Affairs Committee; it raises the limit from $100 to $200 for contributions one can give in an aggregate amount without the contributor having to provide information. Section 3 inserts "exceeds" [$500]; someone who contributes $499.50 [currently] will not have to put in a reporting form, for example, but as soon as the $500 level is reached, the contributor must do so, and thus the change. Section 6 repeals AS 15.13.080, which is the requirement for the reporting and which read as follows [annotation provided because the 1998 amendment is discussed later]: Sec. 15.13.080. Statement by contributor. (a) An individual who contributes $500, or goods or services with a value of $500, to a candidate shall file a contributor's statement as required by this section. (b) An individual required to file a contributor's statement under (a) of this section shall file on a form made available by the commission. The statement must (1) identify the contributor and the candidate and all groups receiving contributions; (2) itemize the contributions and goods; and (3) state that the contributor is not prohibited by law from contributing and that the contribution consists of funds or property belonging to the contributor and has not been given or furnished by another person or group. (c) The contributor's statement shall be filed with the commission by the contributor no later than 30 days after the contribution that requires the contributor to report under AS 15.13.040(d) is made. History - (Sec. 1 ch 76 SLA 1974; am Sec. 29 ch 189 SLA 1975; am Sec. 13 ch 48 SLA 1996; am Sec. 8, 9 ch 6 SLA 1998) Amendment Notes - The 1996 amendment, effective January 1, 1997, rewrote this section. The 1998 amendment, effective June 28, 1998, rewrote subsection (a) and, in subsection (c) substituted "30 days" for "10 days" and inserted "that requires the contributor to report under AS 15.13.040(d)." REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL continued. He referred to Section 4, lines 30-31, relating to telephone communications. He said this was suggested by the department because of a problem that had arisen. Beginning on page 2, line 29, [and continuing to page 3, line 1,] that language read: In addition, candidates and groups must identify the name of their campaign chair. Telephone communications need only be identified by the name of the candidate, group, or individual paying for the communication [CHAIRMAN]. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL explained that this came up because of telemarketing where the group wasn't identified; the ruling was made in such a way that there was fear, as he understands it, that "it may be required on all telephone communications given by a candidate or his group, which would become tremendously burdensome." Number 0310 CHAIRMAN KOTT referred to Form 15-5 [an APOC form titled "Statement of Contributions]. He conveyed his understanding that, essentially, the filing of that form has been eliminated for individuals. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL affirmed that. CHAIRMAN KOTT commented, "The maximum we can contribute [anyway] is $500, so we'll never contribute more than $500." REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded that the burden is put on the candidate or the group running the campaign. There is a downside, however, pointed out by the department: the reporting is less frequent; it could be annually or just going into an election. That probably will have to be looked at later, Representative Coghill said, as far as how often the campaigners should report. But, at this point, putting the burden on the contributor has been the issue. Number 0390 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA conveyed her understanding that individuals aren't ever going to be reported on that form; it will only be the groups. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said AS 15.13.080, repealed by Section 6, explicitly requires reporting. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked what happens with polling under the telephone communications section now. For example, if someone is just doing a poll, will that be interpreted as not being intended to influence the election? REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL answered that polling is not under this law. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that is [true] currently, even. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL indicated that if one were doing a survey as part of a campaign, which some people think of as polling, it would be required. He suggested there is some crossover and confusion. Number 0477 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI expressed uncertainty with regard to how telephone communications are defined here. Noting that backup material for the bill refers to automated telephone messages, she surmised that those [messages] would be subject to disclosure. However, if she had sent out invitations to a fund-raising event, and if she had somebody following up on that, she understands that those telephone communications don't require a disclosure. She asked whether that is correct. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said his understanding is that it would [be required]. However, at that point it would be almost moot because she would be identifying her campaign in inviting people. "That's what we're asking for here, ... that you only identify the name of the candidate," he stated. If he were soliciting contributions, Representative Coghill added, his understanding is that he would have to identify himself [because it is related to] a campaign contribution; if he were inviting people to an event, he would have to identify himself but wouldn't have to "go through the whole thing of 'paid for by.'" Number 0577 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI noted that there are telephone hookups into computers. She asked whether communications over the Internet would require some disclosure. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL referred to page 2, line 26, the phrase "and other communications intended to influence the election". He said he believes that, under "their regulations," one would find that computer messages probably would be somehow regulated under that [language]. "We wanted to separate telephone communications from that, very specifically," he stated. To his understanding, he said, because of rapidly advancing technology, "other communications" was the best that [the drafters] came up with. "I wasn't there," he added. Number 0795 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that it has always infuriated him that someone who has made a contribution can be charged with a criminal act for failure to file the proper paperwork. Therefore, he strongly supports that [new language] in other sections. However, he has some concerns about Section 4 regarding telephone communications. He noted that he hadn't had a chance that evening to look through the other election statute as it relates to the polling issue. He said he is very uncomfortable with the language as it is now. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG further noted that polling is allowed in other portions of the statute. An example would occur if one filed a letter of intent, prior to even filing for office, to conduct polls and to be able to spend money to inquire about whether a candidate would even have a chance of winning an election. It seems to him that when one does an information-gathering poll, if the group is identified, either before or afterward, it could influence the poll itself. "The bugaboo is the 'push polling,' and that is very problematic to kind of draft language that can make a distinction," he stated, adding that he believes that "push polling" should be outlawed unless there is disclosure. He clarified that if polling is done properly, he believes it should not be restricted or have the requirement that the candidate should be identified per se, as opposed to having the polling group identified. Number 0818 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES referred to testimony by Brooke Miles of APOC before the House State Affairs Committee [which Representative James chairs]. She reported that Ms. Miles had stated that polling is not covered and is okay. "Actually, when it is required is when you're intending to convince somebody, in one way or another, to vote for or against someone," Representative James said. "That's the distinction. If you're just asking questions, it's not included; otherwise, it is." She said the problem is brought to light because of computerized telephone calling. People were incensed because of not knowing who was calling, and there was no live person to talk to. She stated: Then they were advised that ... they should disclose. Well, disclosure means, "This call is paid for by so-and-so, address so-and-so, ... and the campaign chairman or treasurer is so-and-so." It's a whole big, long thing when you're talking about disclosure. And ... this is intended to make it perfectly clear that the only disclosure that you have to do is, "This is the campaign of such-and-such," and then go on with your message. So [they would] have to do the same thing if it was ... a computer-generated one and being paid for by the campaign; the first thing you start out by saying is, ... "This is from the campaign of such-and-such," [because] you don't have to have all that other rigamarole that we have to list off. That's making it more simple, but there still would be a requirement if you're doing something that is to influence them, in any way, on the choices that they will make. Questioning surveys are strictly just asking questions, or survey or polling. There's a difference between the two. Number 0937 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative James whether there had been further discussion with [Ms. Miles] regarding, for example, volunteers trying to persuade a constituent to vote for a candidate. He noted that this language says "or individual paying for the communication." He asked whether it leads to the same assumption regarding identifying the campaign if there is no payment. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES answered that it has nothing to do with paying for it; rather, it is a question of what campaign the person is from. When trying to convince someone, by telephone, to vote for or against something or someone, one must announce which campaign [that person is associated with] before doing that. She indicated the language "paid for" relates to other kinds of things that one might be doing. In response to a request for confirmation that no reporting on the forms was required, Representative James added, "You just say that 'I'm from such-and-such-a-person's campaign. That's all you need to let them know because ... it's difficult to say what the cost is of what they're doing. It's just a telephone communication." REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA said she is concerned about the polling aspect, too, because so many arguments could be made relating to whether the polling was intended to influence someone, under this. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said this doesn't change the polling at all. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA replied that she knows that is what [Ms. Miles] is saying, but she isn't sure that is how it will be read. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "This was the language that was given to us [the House State Affairs Committee] by Brooke [Miles]." Number 1061 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked Representative Coghill whether there had been any discussion about raising the limit on page 2, line 15, from in excess of $500 to in excess of $1,000. He commented: If you're totally trying to get away from the substantial amount of obligation that you have, as a contributor, to file that [APOC Form] 15-5, you really wipe out all the ... individuals that would contribute; we've reached their maximum. ... The PACs [political action committees], their maximum, I believe, is a thousand. So, if you went beyond a thousand, you would then ... wipe away the obligation for PACs, and that would only leave groups ...? And I'm not sure what the maximum [is]. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL pointed out that a "person" can be something other than an individual, as he understands it. Referring to line 10 [page 2], he noted that it says ["individual, person, or group making a contribution or expenditure"]. He said the limit for the individual is $500; the word "exceeds" was put in there because any other "person" or group can, in fact, give up to $1,000. He added: And yet it is still incumbent upon ... the candidate or campaign to report all contributions. So I still think we're [on] good grounds here. This just pushes it so that the individual is excepted here, kind of implying it, and it's done more explicitly by repealing [AS] 15.13.080, by actually explicitly requiring that they report. Number 1170 CHAIRMAN KOTT said his point is with regard to the question of raising the threshold to $1,000. He related his understanding that political parties can give up to "five" [$500], and said he assumes they would still have to file a [Form] 15-5. He added: They're not totally sure on that. But, say, if they don't have to file that 15-5, then the only group or person, if you will, that is then still retained, are those political action committees that can give up to $1,000. And if you put in there ... "in excess of a thousand", then we've taken them out of the picture. And if political parties don't have to file that 15-5, then there's no need for the 15-5, and we're still reporting it, ... as a receiver of the contribution; we still have that obligation. But if you want to totally get away from filing the form, I'm just wondering if there wasn't some discussion that took place under (indisc.--simult. speech) on that amendment. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded that the genesis was that individuals themselves were being burdened. Most groups or combinations of people [encompassed] in "person" this year are combining together for a political purpose and, therefore, probably would be required to report anyway; he doesn't know that that is a bigger burden on them. Rather, [the burden] is on the individual who has to keep an accumulated tally of what he or she has given. "And once it breaks that $500 point, then it's a burden on him, with a penalty," Representative Coghill said, suggesting that it concerns many people. Therefore, at this point it is just targeted to the individual. Number 1268 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT, still addressing Section 3, mentioned the retaining of AS 15.13.040(d), which read in part: Every individual, person, or group making a contribution or expenditure shall make a full report, upon a form prescribed by the commission, of .... He noted that the only thing changed in the subsequent portion of subsection (d) [page 2, Section 3 of the bill] was the replacement of the word "reaches" with the word "exceeds." He asked the reason, then, for repealing AS 15.13.080, which fleshes out what one has to say [on the report]. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI said she thinks that just relates to statements by contributors, not statements by PACs or persons. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG mentioned that an individual, PAC or group can give more. [He also asked an indiscernible question regarding the filing of a Form 15-5.] REPRESENTATIVE CROFT asked what prevents the commission from using the same old form that would have comported with AS 15.13.080 if it hadn't been repealed [by Section 6]. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI asked whether there is any difference between a form that a contributor files and a form that a person or group files. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he thinks it is just the [Form] 15-5. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI [apparently referring to AS 15.13.080] said it is odd that the heading is "statement by the contributor." She said it just relates to an individual who contributes $500. Number 1400 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT suggested that changing [AS 15.13.]080 to say "contributes more than" would make it jibe with what had been left in, in Section 3, and would "leave the guts of a reporting crime." He said the only reason for getting rid of .080 seems to be if they truly get rid of the contributor's responsibility to report. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT turned attention to Section 4. He read the new phrase, "Telephone communications need only be identified" [page 2, lines 30-31, of the bill]. He suggested that the questions they are trying to get to relate to the fact that "polls" are not really polls. He asked whether there would be any harm in saying, "Telephone communications intended to influence an election need only be identified ...." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated the bill had that language originally, but Ms. Miles of APOC had thought this other language was better. Number 1460 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG informed members that he had drafted an amendment for that. He read from that hand-written amendment [later amended and adopted as Amendment 1.] It read [original punctuation]: p  line 1 after [CHAIRMAN] add "Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit informational surveys or polls, if the survey or poll is not intended to influence the election (etc.) (see p 2 line 26 to line 27 to "question". SEVERAL UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS said that was either better or good. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES, speaking of the House State Affairs Committee, commented, "We were convinced by Brooke [Miles] we didn't need that." Number 1495 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that he had used the phrase "informational surveys or polls" in the amendment. He suggested that perhaps "informational" should be "interrogatory," but he said that is a "term of art." REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded, "As long as you have in there 'intended to influence the campaign,' I think that's the qualifier ...." He said what he was trying to get in there, although it kept running into problems, was that every person or group except for an individual making a contribution or expenditure shall make a full report. However, "person" can be, by law, an individual or group. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented, "I think this works the way we have it." [The amendment was handed out. There was substantial informal discussion of various aspects of the bill.] Number 1704 CHAIRMAN KOTT called an at-ease, which lasted from 9:04 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. He then asked whether there was further discussion. He labeled Representative Rokeberg's amendment as Amendment 1. Number 1723 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt Amendment 1. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI and AN UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER objected. Number 1739 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to amend Amendment 1 by removing the word "informational". He also offered to explain what "(etc.)" means. He suggested that "informational" is fuzzy and would require definition. CHAIRMAN KOTT agreed with simplifying it, as much as possible, at this point. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG specified that the full amendment would read: Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit surveys or polls, if the survey or poll is not intended to influence the election of a candidate or outcome of the ballot proposition or question. Number 1790 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked whether there was any objection to the amendment to Amendment 1; there being no objection, it was adopted. Chairman Kott then asked whether there still was an objection to Amendment 1, as amended. None was offered [and an unidentified speaker indicated there was no longer an objection]. Therefore, Chairman Kott announced that Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 1801 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether a conceptual amendment was desired "on the 10-day to 30-day." [He didn't specify what language he was addressing.] CHAIRMAN KOTT said he isn't sure why the 10 days are in there or why there was a differentiation between a statement and a report. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said it is clear that the department doesn't even follow it, because even their own form [15-5] doesn't follow it; it gives people 30 days. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI recalled that it was a change within the last year. It has gone from 30 to 10. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to Form 15-5, which indicates it was revised on 1/00 and says 30 days. Therefore, it doesn't follow the law, he pointed out. Number 1848 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that [the annotation] under AS 15.13.080 says: The 1998 amendment, effective June 28, 1998, rewrote subsection (a) and, in subsection (c) substituted "30 days" for "10 days" and inserted "that requires the contributor to report under AS 15.13.040(d)." He said if that is true, it appears to have been changed there but not "in the other one." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES commented, "So we're okay." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT stated: But if we're going to change it to 30 days in the other one - that seems conforming - I think we should keep .080, which simply sets out the [form]. We're going to need this form for contributions of $501 on up to parties or groups or whatever, and there's nothing wrong that I've heard about .080; it says what you have to state in there. Now, what we'd have to say is "an individual who contributes more than $500" in .080. Number 1890 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL, along that line, suggested perhaps modifying Section 6 to specify [deletion of AS 15.13.]080(c). He requested confirmation that subsection (c) is the one that really makes a difference there. Subsection (c) read: c) The contributor's statement shall be filed with the commission by the contributor no later than 30 days after the contribution that requires the contributor to report under AS 15.13.040(d) is made. Number 1903 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT referred to subsection (a), which read: a) An individual who contributes $500, or goods or services with a value of $500, to a candidate shall file a contributor's statement as required by this section. He stated: If we make .080 to be an individual who contributes more than, ... and we've changed the other to be 30 days, we've made the two consistent with each other and exempted the $500 contributor. The $501 contributor is still going to have to do it, and it seems to me if they're going to have to do it, [it might as well be] on the form that we've done. I don't have any problem with changing the 10 to 30, as long -- and I'd be more comfortable with Brooke [Miles] here or somebody from APOC. But as long as there are those 24-hour rules right before the election, it makes more sense to have it 30. But then I'd urge us to keep .080 but simply make it conform by saying "who contributes more than $500." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she didn't have any problem with that. In response to a question by Representative Rokeberg, she said getting rid of .080 doesn't get rid of the need for the form. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether there is authorization of the form in "the other part." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES affirmed that. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested that .080 is superfluous or redundant, then. CHAIRMAN KOTT responded that there is still language in [AS 15.13.]040 that suggests there will be a form used to file [regarding] contributions. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL indicated that is in subsection (d). CHAIRMAN KOTT said he doesn't see any real value in retaining .080 because there will still be the form. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES added, "Unless we were to up the individual contributions to a thousand; then we'd need it. Otherwise, we don't need it." Number 1903 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT pointed out that there is a different form in subsection (a) of [AS 15.13.]040. He read from that language [provided in Section 1], noting that it currently applies to anything over $100 and will now apply to anything over $200. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI said that isn't Form 15-5, however. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL added that it would still be prescribed by the commission. CHAIRMAN KOTT said he thinks it is a different form. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said there are only two forms upon which to report, this one [Form 15-5] and the "regular APOC form that candidates and groups and everybody has to file." REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI added that one is a candidate form, and one is a contributor form. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded that subsection (d) is only talking about the contributor. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI agreed. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said that by taking .080 out, it doesn't get rid of the form or [the filing requirement], and it doesn't get rid of those who contribute [more than] $500. CHAIRMAN KOTT asked whether that was the testimony from APOC in the House State Affairs Committee. REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL responded, "The lady from APOC did say that she had not had a chance to talk to the commissioner, to give her credit. But, on the other hand, she did know that we were repealing that and did not make any contribution for keeping it." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said [Ms. Miles] hadn't talked about any opinion from the commissioner; she had only come forward with her own evaluation of the changes. Number 2146 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said the main difference seems to be that in .080 it says one must do a statement, on [Form] 15-5, that the contributor is not prohibited by law from making a contribution. He pointed out that that language is at the bottom of the form, under the certification section. Representative Croft said that isn't a requirement of [subsection] (a). In fact, (a) says only that each candidate shall make a full report. If the committee deletes [AS 15.13.]080, which is the "statement by contributor" and the form for it, they will have deleted the form that [AS 15.13.040](d) uses. Representative Croft commented: If we think that a person who gives $1,000 or $5,000 to a political party ought to make a report of that, and certify that ... that's their money and such, then we need to keep .080. If we don't, then we need to change (d) to reflect it, 'cause right now ... we're keeping the requirement of anything over 500 [dollars], and we're eliminating the form of the form. Number 2207 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "Well, it sure doesn't hurt - just to get on with this - to change, in the first line there, 'over [$]500' and leave it in there. It's not going to do any damage." CHAIRMAN KOTT agreed that it wouldn't do any damage. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI said "exceeds" $500 is fine. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "We'd have to change that on the first line so that it says 'with a value of more than [$]500' or 'exceeding' -- 'an individual contributes in excess of [$]500' and 'with a value ... in excess of [$]500', two changes there, and then leave that in there, and it solves all the problems of whether or not we need it. REPRESENTATIVES MURKOWSKI asked, "So we're not repealing it, which is what [Representative Croft] wanted to do all along, right?" CHAIRMAN KOTT responded, "That's the gist of it. ... We're retaining it, even though I'd be surprised if they're not using that form over in .040 as well. That's fine. ... Still, this is, I think, where we want to get to." He asked whether committee members were happy with that particular change. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES suggested it could be a conceptual amendment to make those two changes. Number 2260 CHAIRMAN KOTT specified that the change is to retain AS 15.30.080. Deleted would be line 20 of page 3 [which said: "* Sec. 6. AS 15.13.080 is repealed."] He added: We'll insert Section 6, [AS] 15.13.080, and then ... we'll make that change in (a), "is amended to read," and we'll put basically the same language, "in excess of $500", in those two areas. ... That ensures that we're not screwing up the form, I guess. CHAIRMAN KOTT announced that the committee would adopt the foregoing as Amendment 2. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked, "Do we need that 10-day, 30-day deal?" REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "No, it's in here. It was changed, it says here." REPRESENTATIVE CROFT replied that it was changed "there" but not in subsection(e) of [AS 15.13.]040. CHAIRMAN KOTT said simultaneously that it wasn't changed in .040(d). REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether [AS 15.13.]080 has 30 days in it. Number 2310 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES read in part from the annotation to AS 15.13.080, discussed previously, which said: The 1998 amendment, effective June 28, 1998, rewrote subsection (a) and, in subsection (c) substituted "30 days" for "10 days" and inserted "that requires the contributor to report under AS 15.13.040(d)." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether, with Amendment 2, they hadn't kept the burden on the contributor but not the candidate or the recipient. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied: We have. Anything that's over 500 [dollars], we have. And anything that is under 500, if it's ... other than an individual, we haven't excluded it. We've only excluded individuals. Isn't that correct? So, if it's a group or a PAC or whatever, and it's under 500, they still have to do it because we haven't excluded that ... for them. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked whether a Form 15-5 is needed just because it is a group. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI said, "Every individual, person or group - it has to exceed 500 [dollars]." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested it needs to be consistent [to avoid] having two different standards and confusion. Number 2369 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked, "10 days and 30 days?" He specified that it would be in AS 15.13.040(e). REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said that is the only thing that makes sense to him. Although he would be more comfortable with an APOC representative there [at the hearing], he suggested doing that [amendment] and asking APOC the following day. He said it seems to jibe the two sections. Number 2395 CHAIRMAN KOTT agreed that it would be consistent, at least. He specified that AS 15.13.040(e) would be amended to read "30 days after the contribution is made". He noted that it would be no later than 30 days; it would change 10 days to 30 days. He asked whether everybody understood that amendment, and indicated APOC would be contacted about it in the morning. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG clarified that the rationale is to make all the reporting deadlines consistent, for all parties and "all different aspects of the law." CHAIRMAN KOTT labeled the foregoing as conceptual Amendment 3. He announced that without objection, Amendment 3 was adopted. TAPE 00-71, SIDE B REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to delete Section 5. He explained that he had searched through [Section 5]; all he could find was that it deleted, on page 3, line 5 of the bill, AS 15.13.080(c) from the report. He indicated he saw no need for Section 5 because it is just a references to .080, which the committee has put back in. CHAIRMAN KOTT labeled that Amendment 4. He asked whether there was any objection; none was offered. [Thus Amendment 4 was treated as adopted.] Number 0082 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT made a motion to delete Sections 1 and 2 [Amendment 5]. [The only change made in CSSSHB 179(STA), Sections 1 and 2, was replacing "in excess of $100" with "in excess of $200". For Section 1, amending AS 15.13.040(a), that is found in the bill on page 1, line 8. For Section 2, amending AS 15.13.040(b), that is found in the bill on page 2, line 4.] REPRESENTATIVE CROFT explained: I think an important amount of information that the public should have is those contributors in that range. In the Knowles-Ulmer campaign of last time, there were 140 contributors under 200 [dollars], and they totaled ... more than $27,000. This is not small money. It is not, in my experience, a particularly horribly onerous deal - [I] pay somebody to do it, who does it fairly inexpensively, and ... reporting the $100 checks doesn't bankrupt me as a candidate .... You've just got to keep good track of your stuff. But it is important to know. In response to a question, Representative Croft indicated most of those [Knowles-Ulmer] contributions were right at $200, but many were for less. He indicated he thinks that the current rule, requiring [reporting] for amounts over $100, is fair enough. Number 0142 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES remarked that the whole reason for changing it is because of "what we've heard from contributors." State employees, for example, would be happy to give somebody a campaign contribution, but they don't want their names listed, for whatever reasons they have. She emphasized that the amount has been $100 since 1975; with inflation applied, it [would be] $209. It is a matter of whether that is a small contribution or not, she said; she noted that Ms. Miles hadn't offered discussion about that. Representative James said it isn't a matter of being inconvenienced but a matter of whether people want their names reported, and how much they can give before that is a problem. She herself believes that $200 isn't a problem; it is not a huge contribution. She concluded, "If people want to do it, and don't want to have their name listed, why should they have to do that?" REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI commented that she thinks the federal reporting requirements are for anything over $250. Number 0212 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG reported that his wife has been a "BETA" (ph) tester for the APOC program for the last year or so. The $100 contributions are handled differently in the computer program. He referred to the new large fiscal note [from APOC, dated 4/26/00]; he asked whether that relates to computer reprogramming. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she cannot figure out why it is a problem at all. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said a contract consultant has built the program that puts APOC reports on the computer and over the Internet. He suggested that if one knew how to hack into the computer system, one could find out the names. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES disagreed that one could find out the names, adding that "no one knows what they are because I haven't given them to them." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that in order to use the APOC program, however, the name must be entered to make the contributions balance. There is a defect in the program, he suggested. Number 0256 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "Then let's get rid of the program because that totally destroys what the intent is. I did not know that." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG clarified that it isn't public information, but the name and dollar amount have to be entered into the computer program in order to make it work. CHAIRMAN KOTT said supposedly there are some security measures that will prevent the average citizen from accessing the information. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG surmised that that is what the money is [in the fiscal note], for reprogramming. "So if you took this out, it would lower the fiscal note," he concluded. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied, "I don't believe that." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG admitted that he was just guessing. CHAIRMAN KOTT suggested there would only be a change of one or two words in the instructions [that would require reprogramming]. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out that it is a customized program rather than being off-the-shelf software. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said she would be surprised if it cost more than $2,500 [to reprogram]. CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that eliminating the vast number of individual 15-5 forms would mean those would no longer need to be analyzed, reviewed, entered or followed up on. He suggested there may be some savings there. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded, "At least on the file cabinets to put the things in." Number 0358 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked whether there was further discussion on Amendment 5. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT observed that there had been no formal objection but a lot of dissent. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES proposed that perhaps it should be made like the federal [limit], at $250. CHAIRMAN KOTT suggested that if a change is wanted, it should be made now, rather than coming back next year and spending another $60,000 or whatever it costs for reprogramming. Number 0377 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented, "If we went to 250 [dollars], that brings up a problem because in the closing days of the campaign, any contribution over 250 [dollars] you have to report within 24 hours. This might eliminate that problem, too." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded, "No, it wouldn't, but I wouldn't mind eliminating it." He moved to adopt the original bill. [There were ensuing comments and laughter.] Number 0407 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to a full-page newspaper advertisement paid for by "Responsible Cruising in Alaska, Juneau, Alaska" [not provided in packets]. He said it certainly was intended to influence legislation, and this group is not listed with APOC. He asked whether something should be done to correct this situation. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT responded that he had seen it, and it isn't intended to influence a campaign or initiative. He stated, "I don't know that we have any, or should have any, restriction on people taking whatever methods they want to influence legislation, even some that border on or cross the offensive." Representative Croft said that is people's right to do. [The legislature] has set limits and disclosures when someone is trying to influence an election or an initiative on the ballot. The people, in effect, have a right to know when someone is trying to influence those, on those public votes. However, the people don't have a vote on that piece of legislation [referred to in the newspaper]; only legislators have a vote on that. Representative Croft said he worries that [limiting that] would come up against not only First Amendment concerns "but just that we don't need to." He concluded, "In effect, that's the people trying to influence us. ... And whether offensive or not, I'm not sure that we need to restrict or limit it." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG responded, "They should disclose who they are." Number 0511 CHAIRMAN KOTT returned attention to Amendment 5. He asked whether there was further discussion. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES objected. CHAIRMAN KOTT conveyed his understanding that Representative James' objection was based on inflation, if nothing else. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded, "Absolutely." CHAIRMAN KOTT added that Representative Rokeberg has suggested that the fiscal note will perhaps come down. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented: It's a little bit of a public perception here, to a degree, on it, although I support the concept of the bill here. I think it's warranted. But I am concerned about public perception whenever we're changing campaign law. The most important part of this bill is the 15-5 penalties against contributors, which I think is offensive; it always has been to me. CHAIRMAN KOTT pointed out that the committee isn't changing any provision in the campaign law that would allow anyone to contribute, or [candidates] to receive, any greater amount than what currently exists today. "All this does is just provide some concealment to those that may want to contribute over that ... $100 threshold," he concluded. Number 0581 REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA told members that she thinks that concealment is the question. Even if the contributor has only given $5, it is potentially public [information]. She stated: All that has to be done is someone ask you for your records, and you've got to come forward with them. So, the person who contributes to a political campaign has no protection from having their [name] delivered. And I think $100 is something everyone is used to; the public is used to it. They can't give more than 500 [dollars]. Every one of us probably has a computer program that looks up the names. I'd keep it at 100 [dollars]. I wouldn't, at this point of session, go to raising it. ... It's interesting listening to the inflation question, but I don't think that's the heart of it. The heart of it is the public's right to know. And I think that once you start dealing in campaign finances, the public has a real broad right to know. So I'd keep it at 100 [dollars]. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES suggested, in essence, that people often contribute to several things but limit themselves to $100 in total. She finds it very difficult to get enough money for a campaign because she lives in a poor district, she indicated, and would like it if people were willing to give her more money because of having a higher limit before listing their names on a report. Representative James said she has no problem with campaign disclosure. She concluded: What I have a problem with is what they do with the disclosure. And ... if you want people to help you to get elected, they should be able to do it without being intimidated. And I think that having that at $200 allows them a little bit more freedom to do that - allows me to get a little bit more money. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested the only person reading [the disclosure] would be the opponent anyway. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "And the newspaper. The newspaper's the worst one." REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG suggested having a CPI [cost-price index] clause. He then agreed with Representative James that it is getting increasingly difficult to raise money for a campaign, which is to the benefit of incumbents who weren't born with a "silver spoon." He doesn't think that the public is ready to accept or recognize that yet, he added. Number 0766 REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI told fellow members that she isn't convinced that by requiring disclosure at $100 or more, "we really lose that many contributors," even though perhaps the occasional state employee doesn't want his or her name on there, and, therefore, gives $99. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked how many checks one receives for $99. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI said she is looking at it from the same point of view that Representative Rokeberg is. She stated: From the public's point of view, is this a concern that we are able to hide more money - $27,000 if we take [Representative Croft's] numbers [regarding the Knowles-Ulmer campaign]? I'm hoping that one of these days everything that we get in campaign contributions is going to be posted on the Internet anyway, and we don't have to deal with this silly reporting stuff - going back to [Representative Coghill's] original bill here - in which case this whole conversation becomes somewhat academic. The comment was made that perhaps we look at the federal limit, and I don't know that it's necessary to go that far. I just don't see what we gain by bumping it up, at this point in time. The inflation argument is an argument to be made, but I think ... it's going to not what people are willing to give but the whole disclosure aspect of it. And are we willing to disclose those people that are contributing to us? I don't think that there should be any reason why we're not. Number 0859 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES withdrew her objection, noting that she still thinks [the $200 in Sections 1 and 2] is a very good idea; that is why she had put that in, in the House State Affairs Committee. If everyone else was going to object, however, she wouldn't stop [the bill] from going forward. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA suggested that the arguments being made are good ones for public funding for campaigns, which would allow people more ability to enter politics. Number 0900 CHAIRMAN KOTT asked whether there was further discussion on Amendment 5; no discussion or objection was offered. He announced that, without objection, Amendment 5 was adopted, deleting Sections 1 and 2 of the bill. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI, in response to indications that not much remained of the bill, pointed out that it still gets rid of Form 15-5, which is important. She believes that Form 15-5 has discouraged people from giving money. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT agreed that it is an important step. CHAIRMAN KOTT commented that the only thing that is not narrow is the title. He turned attention to the fiscal note, specifying that he believes a [positive] fiscal note is no longer necessary because of adoption of Amendment 1. He suggested that such things are commonly done "under the auspices of a change in statute" without any associated costs. Chairman Kott pointed out that there once was a zero fiscal note, and the only change made was the addition of Sections 1 and 2 [in the House State Affairs Committee]. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated that the House State Affairs Committee did the zero fiscal note. Number 1060 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt a House Judiciary Committee zero fiscal note. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT said he wouldn't object to that, but he would ask "them" [APOC] the following day whether the change in Sections 1 and 2 means that they would essentially agree. CHAIRMAN KOTT moved that the committee adopt either a House Judiciary Committee zero fiscal note or the House State Affairs Committee [zero] fiscal note. He specified that, if possible, the latter would be adopted. Number 1111 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to move CSSSHB 179(STA), as amended, from committee with individual recommendation and the House State Affairs Committee fiscal note attached. REPRESENTATIVE CROFT commented that before sending it over to the other body, he would do something about the title, probably on the floor. CHAIRMAN KOTT suggested the title ought to be the bill itself. He said he would be more than happy to adjust the title, if the committee so desired. REPRESENTATIVE MURKOWSKI commented that Sections 3 and 4 remain. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to rescind his motion. Number 1156 REPRESENTATIVE CROFT offered a conceptual amendment [Amendment 6] to write "a very tight title under this bill." CHAIRMAN KOTT restated that the tightest title would be the bill. He specified that Amendment 6 would construct a very tight title that would basically repeat the contents of the bill, "or something similar." [No objection was stated; thus Amendment 6 was treated as adopted.] Number 1188 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG renewed his motion to move CSSSHB 179(STA), as amended, from committee with individual recommendations and the attached House State Affairs Committee zero fiscal note. There being no objection, CSSSHB 179(JUD) was moved from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.