Over $17 Million Spent On State Lobbyists This Year

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Just before the legislative session began I did a breakdown of which lobbyists would be lobbying for which interests. Some lobbyists, however, don’t report many of their clients until the session gets underway and many acquire clients as the session progresses. So now that the Legislature is going well into overtime, the lobbying picture is much clearer.

With that in mind, here is an update to our “Who is lobbying for who” breakdown.

A couple of caveats before we begin, this breakdown is based on lobbyist registration reports filed with Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). As we found out with our previous breakdown, lobbyists can be prone to making mistakes on their reports. For instance, sometimes they list annual pay as monthly pay or vice-versa. If any such errors are noticed by those mentioned below, please email me at mnsunak@gmail.com and we will make the correction.

It is also important to note that APOC only ask lobbyists to disclose whether their pay is annual or monthly, but if it is monthly there is no requirement to disclose if the contract is for a specified number of months and if so how many. This is a weakness APOC should address, but for now this is how it is. For this analysis I assumed all monthly contracts for for the full year (multiplied them by 12).  

With that calculation done I added the total amount of annual lobbying contracts ($10,996,192), monthly lobbying contracts ($4,697,971), and the salaries of in-house lobbyists ($2,120,037) and we arrive at a total amount spent lobbying the Legislature and Governor this session: $17,784,201.

That doesn’t even count the hourly-rate lobbying disclosures because we have no idea how many hours are actually billed, there is no way to accurately gauge the total amount billed to the client.

With all that said, let’s start by looking at the biggest of the big-time schmoozers in Juneau. Here are the lobbyists reporting at least $500,000 in contracts this year:

The Power $500K

First Name Last Name Amount Billed # of Clients Notable Clients
Kent Dawson $1,055,750 17 Usibelli Coal Mine. Inc., The Pew Charitable Trusts, City of Seward
Robert Evans $823,008 12 Neeser Construction Inc., Koch Companies, Pfeffer Development LLC
Wendy Chamberlain $741,000 19 Municipality of Anchorage, Northwest Arctic Borough, Yoga Alliance
Ashley Reed $660,200 19 Armstrong Oil & Gas, Inc., ENSTAR Natural Gas, GCI
Jerry Mackie $644,000 16 Holland America Line, Donlin Gold LLC, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
Theodore Popely $629,000 13 Bristol Bay Native Corporation, APDEA, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
Eldon Mulder $603,000 15 Anthem Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., GCI
Frank Bickford $557,073 16 Dave & Buster’s of Alaska, Inc., Verizon, Oracle America, Inc.
Raymond Matiashowski $540,000 10 Xerox, Microsoft, Alaska Communications
Kim Hutchinson $538,500 15 Alaska Airlines, Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska Communications
Linda Anderson $523,000 10 Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska Bankers Assoc, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital

Largest Individual Annual Contracts

First Name Last Name Contract Client
Michael Tibbles $140,000 Alaska Cruise Association/CLIA Alaska
Kent Dawson $120,000 The Pew Charitable Trusts
Charles Miller $105,000 Alaska National Insurance Company
Robert Evans $100,008 Neeser Construction Inc.
Linda Anderson $100,000 Fairbanks North Star Borough

Largest Individual Monthly Contracts

First Name Last Name Contract Client
Yuri Morgan $15,000 Anderson Group, LLC
Fate Putman $12,000 ASEA/AFSCME Local-52
Bruce Baker $10,416 North Slope Borough
Don Etheridge $10,000 Alaska AFL-CIO
Jack Ferguson $10,000 Prepared Response
David Parish $10,000 NovaCopper Inc.

Notable Union Lobbying Contracts

First Name Last Name Contract Type Contract Size Client
Fate Putman Monthly $12,000 ($144,000 Annualized) ASEA/AFSCME Local-52
Don Etheridge Monthly $10,000 ($120,000 Annualized) Alaska AFL-CIO
tom brice Monthly Salary $6,900 ($82,800 Annualized) Alaska District Council of Laborers
Mark Hickey Annual $60,000 NEA-Alaska
James Lottsfeldt Annual $50,000 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547
Theodore Popely Monthly $3,000 ($36,000 Annualized) Anchorage Police Department Employees Assoc.
Kim Hutchinson Annual $17,500 APEA/AFT
Jerry Reinwand Annual $17,500 APEA/AFT
Paul Grossi Annual $17,000 Alaska State Pipe Trades UA Local 375

In-House Lobbyists

Some interests prefer to have someone on staff as opposed to or perhaps in addition to a contracted lobbyist. Here are the folks with the biggest in-house lobbying gigs in the state.

First Name Last Name Salary Employer
Carol Steckel $213,000 WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
REBECCA HULTBERG $184,000 Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association
Elizabeth Gianini $177,000 WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Paul Nielsen $172,000 Alkermes, Inc.
Michelle Arnold $152,000 The College Board

Largest Lobbying Contracts For Governments

Alaskans always love to see their money used for one level of government to beg another level of government for something. Here are the folks with the biggest contracts for another government entity to ask the state for stuff.

First Name Last Name Contract Type Contract Size Client
Bruce Baker Monthly $10,416 ($125,000 Annualized) North Slope Borough
Linda Anderson Annual $100,000 Fairbanks North Star Borough
Kent Dawson Annual $96,500 City of Seward
Wendy Chamberlain Annual $80,000 Northwest Arctic Borough
Bruce Baker Monthly $7,000 ($84,000 Annualized) Northwest Arctic Borough School District

Most lobbying contracts are for boring things like the Port of Anchorage expansion or new school construction…BORING (Though there’s a lot of money behind boring topics). Then there are a few that are interesting and fun. Wendy Chamberlain nailed down a contract to lobby for something called “Yoga Alliance” and Denali Daniels gets to push on behalf of Alaska Rolfers.

Ashley Reed on the other hand gets to chat with lawmakers both on behalf of GCI and the group GCI formed to push their ideas on a state fiscal plan “Alaska’s Future Inc”. Way to double up, Ashley.

Then there is Jeffry Cook, who will be carrying the flag of every liberal’s favorite villains the Koch brothers.

Fun/ Interesting

Lobbyist Employer Contract Type Amount
Wendy Chamberlain Yoga Alliance Annual Fee $30,000
Denali Daniels Alaska Rolfers Salaried Employee: Annual Wage $1,900
Jeffry Cook Koch Companies Hourly Fee $100
Ashley Reed Alaska’s Future Inc Annual Fee $30,000
Ashley Reed GCI Annual Fee $50,000

In case you wanted to review all of the lobbying contracts for yourself or maybe just look in more depth at any one of them you can do so here.

1 Comment on "Over $17 Million Spent On State Lobbyists This Year"

  1. You can have all the legislative representation you can afford – no more and no less.

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