How Much Lobbyist Cash Did Legislators Get At MLK Day Events? The Numbers Are In

 

Last month The Midnight Sun told you how Alaska legislators and both major political parties spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day pressing lobbyists for cash. MLK Day just happens to fall on the eve of the legislative session, just hours before legal barriers to in-session fundraising by legislators begin.

Alaska Dispatch News followed up our report with a story of its own on the fundraising events by both Republicans and Democrats.

Now we are able to get our first look at exactly how successful those MLK Day fundraisers were.

That’s because Friday was the deadline for candidates, groups, and political parties to disclose to the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) all of the income and expenditures they accrued prior to February 1.

Here are some of the donors the Alaska Republican Party reported:

The Alaska Democrats’ donation list is a bit more complicated because they took money into two different APOC-regulated committees at their MLK Day event, the House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC) and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (SDCC).

Here are some of the donors to those committees:

Both lists represent a healthy chunk of the Alaska lobbying corps.

The two sides of the aisle appear to have received donations from roughly the same number of lobbyists before the session began. That’s a change from last year when the Alaska GOP received donations from about twice as many lobbyists at its MLK event than Democrats did at theirs, and probably reflects the fact Democrats seized control of the State House after November’s elections. The GOP still controls the State Senate.

GOP lawmakers still outpaced their Democrat colleagues in total dollars squeezed out of lobbyists. By my count, the GOP reported $22,750 in lobbyist donations from its event whereas Dems only brought in $17,500.

BTW, these lists and donation totals are only for people either registered as lobbyists, who listed themselves as lobbyists when donating or lead well-known special interests.

The APOC reports also show a healthy number of donations from children and spouses of lobbyists. I didn’t include them because I have no interest in reporting the names or activities of family members of politicos. I will just state that the numbers we reported above would be significantly higher if I did.

About the Author

Casey Reynolds
Reynolds served as communications director for the Alaska Republican Party from 2008-2011. He left the Party in 2011 to host his own popular morning radio political talk show on AM750 / FM103.7 KFQD. Reynolds now runs The Midnight Sun (midnightsunak.com), crowned by the Anchorage Press as “Alaska’s best political blog.”