Who Is Lobbying For Whom In The 2017 Legislative Session

 

Today is the first day of the legislative session and it is becoming an annual tradition at The Midnight Sun to offer you a fun breakdown of the latest lobbyist registration reports on kickoff day.

A caveat before we begin, this breakdown is based on lobbyist registration reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). As I found out last year, lobbyists are prone to making mistakes on their reports. For instance, sometimes they list annual pay as monthly pay. If any such errors are noticed by those lobbyists mentioned below, just email me at mnsunak@gmail.com and I’ll make a correction.

Also important to note is that these numbers are as of today’s filings. Clearly, some groups and their lobbyists haven’t filed their reports yet, so this is more of a “what we know now” list than a final report. I’ll circle back later in the legislative session with a more complete and definitive lobbying list.

That said, let’s start with the biggest of the big time schmoozers in Juneau. Here are the top 5 lobbyists as determined by the value of their reported billings for this legislative session.

The Big 5

First Name Last Name Billings Notable Clients
Kent Dawson $1,005,625.00 Doyon, Princess Tours, NANA, City of Seward
Jerry Mackie $773,000.00 ASRC, CIRI, Donlin Gold LLC, Holland America Line
Raymond Matiashowski $540,000.00 ACS, Microsoft, Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Theodore Popely $523,000.00 Bristol Bay Native Corporation, RAI Services Company
Ashley Reed $485,200.00 Armstrong Oil & Gas, Enstar, GCI

Then there are the single largest annual contracts. Right now, Charles Miller is edging out Kent Dawson in this race.

Largest Annual Lobbying Contracts

First Name Last Name Compensation Employer Name
Charles Miller $105,000.00 Alaska National Insurance Company
Kent Dawson $96,000.00 City of Seward
Heather Brakes $90,000.00 Legislative Consultants in Alaska
Kent Dawson $84,000.00 Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.
Raymond Gillespie $83,876.40 AT&T Services, Inc.
Fate Putman $82,500.00 ASEA/AFSCME Local 52
Jerry Reinwand $79,000.00 Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
Kent Dawson $78,000.00 Princess Tours
Raymond Matiashowski $78,000.00 Alaska Communications Systems
Raymond Matiashowski $78,000.00 Conduent, Inc. and its Affiliates

Lobbyists can also list their contracts on a monthly fee basis. This is where we sometimes run into problems as they may accidentally list annual numbers as monthly numbers and vice versa. Right now, Kevin Jardell has the fattest monthly contract by a substantial margin.

Largest Monthly Lobbying Contracts

First Name Last Name Compensation Employer Name
Kevin Jardell $14,600.00 Exxon Mobil Corporation
Don Etheridge $10,000.00 Alaska AFL-CIO
David Parish $10,000.00 NovaCopper Inc.
Ashley Reed $7,500.00 Armstrong Oil & Gas, Inc.
Theodore Popely $7,000.00 RAI Services Company
Royce Weller $6,750.00 Ashley Reed & Associates
John Harris $6,700.00 Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Laura Herman $6,250.00 Providence Health & Services Alaska
Charles Miller $6,000.00 Alaska Regional Hospital
David Parish $6,000.00 American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate

Here are the largest salaries for in-house employees for whom lobbying is part of their job description. Some of them list their salaries while others list their hourly wage. To even things out, we have multiplied the hourly wage numbers by the standard 2080 work hours in a year to arrive at their annual salaries.

In-House Lobbyists

First Name Last Name Compensation Calculation Employer Name
Kathie Wasserman $153,309.00 Alaska Municipal League
Michael Hurley $251,680.00 $121 hourly wage x 2080 hours ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.
Leonard Sorrin $217,235.20 $101.44 hourly wage x 2080 hours Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
Paul Nielsen $195,000.00 $93.75 hourly wage x 2080 hours Alkermes, Inc.
Kara Moriarty $192,857.00 $92.72 hourly wage x 2080 hours Alaska Oil & Gas Association
John Boyle $159,848.00 $76.85 hourly wage x 2080 hours BP Exploration Alaska Inc.
Sheela Tallman $151,382.00 $72.78 hourly wage x 2080 hours Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
John Drescher $135,200.00 $65 hourly wage x 2080 hours Apple Inc.
Sarah Erkmann $125,673.00 $60.42 hourly wage x 2080 hours Alaska Oil & Gas Association
Sarah Obed $113,200.00 Doyon, Limited

Governments aren’t just good at doling out money, they like to ask for it too. All told, local governments in Alaska last year spent over a million dollars on state-level lobbyists.

Here are the governments and government agencies paying someone to lobby the state government to get them government money to fund their government.

Governments

First Name Last Name Compensation Employer Name Contract Type
Raymond Matiashowski $42,000.00 Petersburg Borough Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
John Walsh $49,500.00 Northwest Arctic Borough School District Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Lawrence Markley $50,000.00 Metlakatla Indian Community Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
John Harris $6,700.00 Matanuska-Susitna Borough Contract Lobbyist: Monthly Fee
John Walsh $25,000.00 Lower Yukon School District Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Jerry Reinwand $30,000.00 Lower Kuskokwim School District Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Mark Hickey $55,000.00 Lake and Peninsula Borough Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Mark Hickey $45,000.00 Kodiak Island Borough Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Raymond Matiashowski $48,000.00 Ketchikan Gateway Borough Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Kent Dawson $52,000.00 Galena City School District 2 Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Kristopher Knauss $5,500.00 City of Whittier Contract Lobbyist: Monthly Fee
Kent Dawson $96,000.00 City of Seward Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Mark Hickey $10,000.00 City of Sand Point Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Wendy Chamberlain $75,000.00 City of Nome Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Mark Hickey $41,000.00 City of King Cove Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Raymond Matiashowski $42,000.00 City of Ketchikan Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Lawrence Markley $40,000.00 City of Hoonah Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Kent Dawson $40,000.00 City of Galena Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Joseph Stone, Jr. $2,500.00 City of Dillingham Contract Lobbyist: Monthly Fee
Mark Hickey $40,000.00 City of Akutan Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Raymond Matiashowski $36,000.00 City and Borough of Wrangell Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Lawrence Markley $41,000.00 City and Borough of Sitka Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Kevin Jardell $55,000.00 City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
John Walsh $22,000.00 Bering Strait School District Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Mark Hickey $42,000.00 Aleutians East Borough Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
John Walsh $47,500.00 Municipality of Skagway Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee

Here are the contracts for some of the labor unions. You’ll notice the absence of several notables, including the IBEW.

Unions

First Name Last Name Compensation Employer Name Contract Type
Charles Boyle $50.97 NEA-Alaska Salaried Employee: Hourly Wage
Mark Hickey $60,000.00 NEA-Alaska Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Fate Putman $82,500.00 ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Jerry Reinwand $17,500.00 APEA/AFT Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Tom Brice $35.00 Alaska District Council of Laborers Salaried Employee: Hourly Wage
Don Etheridge $10,000.00 Alaska AFL-CIO Contract Lobbyist: Monthly Fee

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

Heather Brakes gets to lobby Alaska lawmakers on behalf of U.S. Term Limits. So she is trying to sell longtime politicians on the idea that longtime politicians are the problem with our system? Good luck with that.

Caren Robinson has a contract for the Alaska Women’s Lobby. Teaching legislators how women think is really a public service. Some of them clearly need the advice.

If Robinson needs backup she can always call on the three lobbyists Planned Parenthood is sending to Juneau this year.

Ted Popely gets $40,000 to look out for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.  Honest question: Do we manufacture any automobiles in Alaska?

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

Fun/ Interesting

First Name Last Name Compensation Employer Name Contract Type
Heather Brakes $45,000.00 U.S. Term Limits Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Caren Robinson $35,000.00 Alaska Women’s Lobby Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Denali Daniels $5,000.00 Alaska Rolfers Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Robert Evans $60,000.00 Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC and Affiliates Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
David Parish $1,500.00 Girdwood 2020 Contract Lobbyist: Monthly Fee
Alyson Currey $33.54 Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawaii Salaried Employee: Hourly Wage
Mark Hickey $8,000.00 Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawaii Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Caren Robinson $8,000.00 Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawaii Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Theodore Popely $40,000.00 Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee
Jerry Mackie $48,000.00 Alaska Optometric Association Contract Lobbyist: Annual Fee

The Legislature is now officially in session. Game on, lobbyists!

 

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3 Comments on "Who Is Lobbying For Whom In The 2017 Legislative Session"

  1. I’ve always been confused why the City of Seward pays so much for Kent Dawson. What are they lobbying for really to the legislature? I suppose the eastern Kenai Peninsula doesn’t really have much in the way of legislators with the Kenai/Soldotnites Chenault and Micciche

  2. I know some of these people personally. I have a bias. If some corporation wants to throw away money on a lobbyist then let them. If those municipalities keep wasting money people should run for office and throw out those contracts. We should pass a statute that does not allow government money to be spent on lobbyists.

  3. Martin Beckner | March 21, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Reply

    How do the taxpayers of local municipalities receive an accounting of what they receive in return from their paid lobbyists? Nobody is counting widgets.

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