|Requested by:||James Torgerson on behalf of Rick Solie|
|Prepared by:||Patricia Ware
Juneau Branch Administrator
|Date Issued:||December 3, 2009|
|Subject:||1) If a lobbyist who registers and then terminates decides to re-activate the original registration in order to lobby in the same calendar year, will this result in the lobbyist incurring civil penalties for unfiled reports? 2) May a person who registers as a lobbyist and then terminates the registration lobby during the same calendar year for less than 10 hours in a 30 day period without registering or reporting to APOC?|
|Decision:||On December 3, 2009, the Alaska Public Offices Commission heard and approved this advisory opinion by a vote of 5 to 0.|
1) If a lobbyist who registers and then terminates decides to re-activate the original registration in order to lobby in the same calendar year, will this result in the lobbyist incurring civil penalties for unfiled reports? 2) May a person who registers as a lobbyist and then terminates the registration lobby during the same calendar year for less than 10 hours in a 30 day period without registering or reporting to APOC?
This letter responds to your October 1, 2009 request for an advisory opinion. Mr. Rick Solie seeks advise of two matters: first, whether a lobbyist is subject to civil penalties for unfiled lobbyist reports if the lobbyist decides to “re-activate” his original lobbyist registration under certain circumstances; and second, whether an individual who registers and then terminates as a lobbyist can lobby for less than 10 hours over a 30 day period and not register as a lobbyist pursuant to AS 24.45.171(11)(A).
There is no provision in the lobbying statutes or regulations that allows a person to register more than once per calendar year. A person who has filed a registration statement may file a notice of termination if he decides he will not be lobbying for the remainder of the year. If a registered lobbyist files a notice of termination and later determines he needs to lobby, he would be required to amend the termination and “re-activate” the original registration. This would subject both the lobbyist and the lobbyist employer to civil penalties under AS 24.45.141 for any required reports not filed during the period from the termination date through the “re-activation” date. A person who registers as a lobbyist and then terminates may not revert to the AS 24.45.171(11)(A) definition in order to lobby for up to 10 hours in a 30-day period. This is because once a person registers as a lobbyist that person falls under the statutory definition of a lobbyist found in AS 24.45.171(11)(B) for the calendar year as a person who has engaged “in the influencing of legislative or administrative action as a business, occupation or profession.” Therefore, that person cannot qualify for the definition under AS 24.45.171(11)(A) for the same calendar year.
On January 19, 2009, Mr. Rick Solie registered as a lobbyist for Denali – The Alaska Gas Pipeline Company LLC. On February 12, 2009, as a result of a change in direction by his employer, he de-registered. Since that date, he has done no lobbying. But Mr. Solie would like to lobby through the end of this year, not as a registered lobbyist and not for more than 10 hours during any 30-day period. On October 1st, 2009 Mr. Solie (through attorney James Torgerson) requested an advisory opinion.
Summary of Relevant Facts From APOC Records:
Richard Solie registered on January 19, 2009 as a lobbyist on the APOC electronic filing system (Insight). Mr. Solie’s registration lists Denali – The Alaska Gas Pipeline Company LLC as the employer, with a lobbying start date of January 20 at an annual fee of $105,084. The subject listed in the registration is “matters related to the natural gas pipeline that Denali intends to construct to transport North Slope gas to North American markets.” Mr. Solie answered “yes” to the question of whether he performs other services for the company, and listed the activity “community relations.” Mr. Solie amended his registration on January 20, 2009 and changed the salary listing from the annual fee of $105,084 to an hourly rate of $61.52.
On February 13, Mr. Solie faxed notice to APOC that he was terminating lobbying activities and provided a termination date of January 20. Mr. Solie fulfilled his lobbyist reporting requirement under AS 24.45.051 by filing a January lobbyist report in Insight, submitted timely on February 27, 2009. In the electronically filed report, Mr. Solie entered a lobbying termination date of January 21, 2009 and disclosed $738 in compensation and $872.31 in reimbursable expenses.
Lobbyists are required to file a registration statement prior to engaging in lobbying AS 24.45.041(a).
The lobbying law defines a lobbyist in two ways. AS 24.45.171(11) states: “‘lobbyist’ means a person who is employed and receives payments, or who contracts for economic consideration, including reimbursement for reasonable travel and living expenses, to communicate directly or through the person's agents with any public official for the purpose of influencing legislation or administrative action for more than 10 hours in any 30-day period in one calendar year; or represents oneself as engaging in the influencing of legislative or administrative action as a business, occupation, or profession.”
The APOC lobbyist registration form requires persons meeting the statutory definition of a lobbyist under AS 24.45.171(11)(A) to complete the Qualification or Waiver for an AS 24.45.171(11)(A) Lobbyist portion of the form. The lobbyist must either specify the date he qualified as a lobbyist by exceeding the threshold of 10 hours of lobbying within a 30 day period or sign a waiver acknowledging the threshold has not been reached but agreeing to be bound by the consequences of a lobbyist registration, namely that he is subject to AS 24.45. The waiver explicitly warns filers that by registering prior to reaching the legally required threshold, a filer agrees to waive certain rights.
In Mr. Solie’s electronically submitted January 2009 registration statement, he checked the box indicating he had not yet reached the required threshold of lobbying for more than 10 hours in any 30-day period in a calendar year and agreed to the provisions of the waiver. The language on the APOC registration form is restated below:
“If you checked the ‘not yet qualified’ box, you are not required to register as a lobbyist at this time. You may register before you qualify but to do so you must read the following waiver and sign where indicated. Your signature is proof that you understand the consequences of registration: you are waiving certain of your rights and agreeing to be bound by certain prohibitions that would not otherwise apply until you meet the 10 hours in 30 days test (emphasis added).
I have not yet engaged in lobbying activities for 10 hours in a 30-day period. I understand that I am not required to register as a lobbyist at this time but choose to do so. I understand that by registering as a lobbyist, I am prohibited from:
1. Serving as a campaign manager or director; serving as a campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer; hosting a fund-raising event; directly or indirectly collecting contributions for, or delivering contributions to, a candidate; or otherwise engaging in the fund-raising activities of a legislative or state-wide campaign for the remainder of this calendar year. AS 24.45.121(a)(8).
2. Making contributions to legislative candidates for one year after the date of this registration, except for legislative candidates running for the district in which I am eligible to vote. AS 15.13.074(g).
3. Violating the prohibitions listed in AS 24.45.121.”
By virtue of Mr. Solie’s registration as a lobbyist, he agreed that for the calendar year, he is different from “any other citizen” and that he is bound by the statutes governing registered lobbyists. Had he not registered, he would be treated as “any other citizen” and would be free to lobby without registering or reporting as long as he did not exceed the 10 hour threshold within a 30 day period specified by statute.
There is good reason for this. AS 24.45.051 (a)(1) requires registered lobbyists to report income and payments received and specifies that reports must include: “…salary, fees, and reimbursement of expenses, received in consideration for or directly or indirectly in support of or in connection with influencing legislative or administrative action (emphasis added), …” Were Mr. Solie permitted to terminate then reactivate without consequence, he would be free to engage in a range of activities during the time he reports as an inactive lobbyist, including traveling, participating in strategy meetings and the like, without having to report such expenditures. While these activities would not trigger a registration requirement in and of themselves, such activities are reportable for registered lobbyists.
The legislative declaration of purpose statement found in AS 24.45.011 notes that “the people are entitled to know the identity, income, expenditures, and activities of those persons who pay, are paid or reimbursed for expenses, or who make expenditures or other payments in an effort to influence legislative or administrative action.” If Mr. Solie were being paid to influence legislative or administrative action, he should be required to file lobbyist reports per AS 24.45.051. Similarly, if he re-activates his status as a lobbyist, Denali will be required to file employer of lobbyist reports, per AS 24.45.061.
There is no statutory provision for registering as a lobbyist more than once in a calendar year. AS 24.45.041(f) requires lobbyists to renew their registrations annually and to file any reports or statements the lobbyist has failed to file prior to a renewal. This statute lends support to a requirement that in cases where a lobbyist terminates a registration, then changes his mind and wants to lobby again in the same calendar year, the only option is for the lobbyist to amend the termination required by AS 24.45.051(a)(6). Amendments to any information included in a lobbyist registration statement are authorized by AS 24.45.051(a).
Because Mr. Solie would have to amend the termination, the Commission treats Mr. Solie as if he had been a lobbyist for the entire year. Mr. Solie would have to file lobbyist reports and face potential civil penalties during the period of time in the year that he was not registered as a lobbyist. Or, Mr. Solie can remain terminated until January 1st.
If Mr. Solie decides to amend, his employer must also file any employer of lobbyist reports due during this timeframe. The employer would be subject to relevant civil penalties for late reports.
In summary, if Mr. Solie determines he would like to lobby for any portion of the remaining calendar year, he needs to amend his January lobbyist report and delete the notice of termination. He should file all interim lobbying reports and would be liable for the relevant civil penalties accrued per AS 24.45.141 for late reports. Mr. Solie’s re-activation as a lobbyist will also expose his employer, Denali-the Alaska Gas Pipeline, to civil penalties for any unfiled employer reports during this intervening period. Both Mr. Solie and Denali may file an affidavit to the Commission appealing the civil penalties and stating the relevant mitigating facts for penalties to be either reduced or waived.
Mr. Solie may not lobby for up to 10 hours within a 30 day period without reporting to APOC. By virtue of his registration under AS 24.45.171(11)(A), he is a lobbyist and subject to the rules and prohibitions of AS 24.45 through the calendar year. He may re-activate his status as a lobbyist but must file any lobbyist reports due in the interim and be liable for civil penalties for any late reports. Such a decision would also require his employer to file any employer of lobbyist reports due during this timeframe. The employer would also be subject to relevant civil penalties for late reports. The Commission would then examine whether Mr. Solie’s and Denali’s circumstances merit a reduction in civil penalties given the mitigation criteria.
This decision is limited to the specific facts presented. Future lobbyists should not rely on this opinion. The Commission urges other lobbyists to submit requests for future advisory opinions on related matters.
Only the Commission has the authority to approve an advisory opinion (2 AAC 50.905). The Commission will rule on staff’s proposed advice at its next meeting, currently scheduled for December 3, 2009. The Commission may approve, disapprove, or modify the proposed advice. An advisory opinion must be approved by an affirmative vote of at least four members or it will be considered disapproved. Both staff’s proposed advice and the Commission’s final advisory opinion apply only to the specific facts and activity for which the advice was requested. If you wish to testify when the Commission considers this matter, please contact me no later than December 1, 2009.
If you rely on staff’s proposed advisory opinion in good faith and the Commission subsequently rejects the proposed advice, staff will take no enforcement action on your activities up to that point if you acted under the specific facts described. If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss this proposed advice, please contact me at (907) 465-4865.
The Commission approved the advice in this letter by an affirmative vote of 5-0 on December 3, 2009. The advice in this opinion applies only to the specific activity for which the advice was requested.
A copy of the original letter requesting the above advisory opinion is included with this advisory opinion.
Request for Advisory Opinion from Attorney James Torgerson
James E. Torgerson
October 1, 2009
State of Alaska
Department of Administration
Alaska Public Offices Commission
2221 East Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 128
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Dear Alaska Public Offices Commission:
As provided for by AS 15.13.374 and 2 AAC 50.905, Mr. Rick Solie seeks an advisory opinion. He asks whether an individual who registers and then terminates as a lobbyist may thereafter lobby subject to only the same restrictions and requirements applicable to a person who has not registered, specifically, those specified by AS 24.45.171(11)(A)
On January 19, 2009, Mr. Rick Solie registered as a lobbyist for Denali – The Alaska Gas Pipeline Company LLC. On February 12, 2009, as a result of a change in direction by his employer, he de-registered. Since that date, he has done no lobbying.
Mr. Solie would like to be able to lobby through the end of this year, although not as a registered lobbyist and not for more than 10 hours during any 30-day period. May Mr. Solie do so? If he does not lobby for more than 10 hours during any 30-day period, may he resume lobbying without again registering as a lobbyist and, consequently, without having to file any “lobbyist’s” reports?
We have found no statutes, regulations, cases or advisory opinions squarely addressing this issue. Accordingly, Mr. Solie seeks the APOC’s guidance.
We believe Mr. Solie’s question implicates two important policy issues: (1) the public’s interest in the disclosure of certain information related to specified lobbying activities and (2) a citizen’s right to participate equally in his or her government. In our judgment, the proper integration of those issues supports Mr. Solie’s being able to resume lobbying subject to only the same restrictions as any other individual, so long as he does not lobby for more than 10 hours during any 30-day period.
Alaska law recognizes the public’s interest in the disclosure of certain information related to specified lobbying activities. AS 24.45 requires the disclosure of certain information related to the lobbying activities of “lobbyists.”1
Alaska’s Statute 24.45.171(11) defines a “lobbyist” as a person who
(A) is employed and receives payments, or who contracts for economic consideration, including reimbursement for reasonable travel and living expenses, to communicate directly or through the person’s agents with any public official for the purpose of influencing legislation or legislative action for more than 10 hours in any 30-day period in one calendar year; or (B) represents oneself as engaging in the influencing of legislative or administrative action as a business, occupation, or profession;
Individuals who are not “lobbyists” are not required to make such disclosures, nor are their employers required to make the disclosures required of those who employ “lobbyists.”
After Mr. Solie registered as a lobbyist last January, he and his employer were obligated to and did make the reports required under AS 24.45.51 & 61. After he terminated as a lobbyist, neither he nor his employer was obligated to make any further report.
Based on conversations with APOC staff, Mr. Solie understands there is no provision to register as a lobbyist more than once in a calendar year but that he could “re-activate” his registration if he decided he wanted to resume lobbying in 2009. Such a “re-activation” according to APOC staff, would require Mr. Solie to resume filing lobbyist reports Mr. Solie further understands that if that had happened, he would have been responsible for filing all the reports that would have been due as if he had been a “lobbyist” ever since he first registered in January. Accordingly, he may have faced penalties for late reports, if enough time had passed between his de-registration and re-registration.
We mention this scenario only to clarify the reporting requirements and consequences that we understand could apply to an individual who resumes the status of “lobbyist” after having terminated earlier in the same year. This is not Mr. Solie’s situation; he has done no lobbying since January 20, 2009. Mr. Solie timely reported that lobbying.
Mr. Solie has no disagreement with the approach described above. The public has a statutorily protected interest in information regarding the lobbying activities of “lobbyists” and their employers. A “lobbyist” should not be able to avoid disclosing required information by (1) terminating as a “lobbyist,” (2) continuing to lobby albeit at a reduced level, and then (3) re-registering as a “lobbyist.” Under those circumstances, the “lobbyist” should not be able to avoid reporting his or her lobbying activities during the time he or she was not a “lobbyist.”
Also, under those circumstances Mr. Solie has no disagreement with the imposition of penalties for late reports. The penalties would serve both as a specific deterrent against any improper attempt by “lobbyists” to avoid their disclosure obligations, and as a general deterrent against “lobbyists” registering and then terminating repeatedly during the year. Requiring the filing of any late reports by “lobbyists” properly addresses the public’s interest in the disclosure of certain lobbying activities. It is not Mr. Solie’s intent to re-activate his original lobbying registration for 2009 if doing so would expose him to penalties. Accordingly, we seek guidance from the Commission that it would impose penalties for any un-filed reports in the described scenario. We understand from staff that the Commission has not yet ruled on the issue.
Mr. Solie would also like the Commission’s ruling on a different question that does involve the activity he would like to undertake. Mr. Solie seeks to engage in the level of lobbying that any other citizen can undertake. Like any other citizen who does not hold himself or herself out to be a “lobbyist,” and who does not lobby for more than 10 hours in a 30-day period, he wants to be able to do this limited amount of lobbying without being obligated to file any reports. This is important because if he or his employer were required to file a report, they also presumably would be required to file late reports for the time since Mr. Solie terminated. Those late reports likely would trigger penalties, even though any such reports would be “zero” reports.
In sum, for Mr. Solie to have an equal right to that enjoyed by other Alaska citizens—of participating in his government by lobbying up to 10 hours within a 30-day period—he needs to be able to do so without facing the approbation and expense of penalties for late reports. Accordingly, he asks APOC to conclude that he can lobby up to 10 hours within a 30-day period without having to re-register as a lobbyist and without having to file any reports.
This conclusion protects his equal rights as a citizen to participate in his government without eroding in the slightest the information available to the public regarding the lobbying activities of “lobbyists” and their employers.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We invite you to contact us if you have any questions or would like any additional information.
Sec. 24.45.011. Purpose.
The legislature finds and declares that the operation of responsible representative democracy requires that the fullest opportunity be afforded to the people to petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely to individual members of the legislature, to its committees, and to officials of the executive branch, their opinions on pending legislation or administrative actions; and that the people are entitled to know the identity, income, expenditures, and activities of those persons who pay, are paid or reimbursed for expenses, or who make expenditures or other payments in an effort to influence legislative or administrative action.
Sec. 24.45.041. Registration; disqualification.
(a) Before engaging in lobbying, a lobbyist shall file a registration statement on a form prescribed by the commission.
(b) The registration form prescribed by the commission must include
(1) the lobbyist's full name and complete permanent residence and business address and telephone number, as well as any temporary residential and business address and telephone number in the state capital during a legislative session;
(2) the full name and complete address of each person by whom the lobbyist is retained or employed;
(3) whether the person from whom the lobbyist receives compensation employs the person solely as a lobbyist or whether the person is a regular employee performing other services for the employer that include but are not limited to the influencing of legislative or administrative action;
(4) the nature or form of the lobbyist's compensation for engaging in lobbying, including salary, fees, or reimbursement for expenses received in consideration for, or directly in support of or in connection with, the influencing of legislative or administrative action;
(5) a general description of the subjects or matters on which the registrant expects to lobby or to engage in the influencing of legislative or administrative action;
(6) the full name and complete address of the person, if other than the registrant, who has custody of the accounts, books, papers, bills, receipts, and other documents required to be maintained under this chapter;
(7) the identification of a legislative employee or public official to whom the lobbyist is married or who is the domestic partner of the lobbyist;
(8) a sworn affirmation by the lobbyist that the lobbyist has completed the training course administered by the commission under AS 24.45.031(a) within the 12-month period preceding the date of registration or registration renewal under this chapter, except that this paragraph does not apply to a person who is a representational lobbyist as defined under regulations of the commission;
(9) a sworn affirmation by the lobbyist that the lobbyist has not been previously convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude; in this paragraph, "felony involving moral turpitude" has the meaning given in AS 15.60.010 , and includes convictions for a violation of the law of this state or a violation of the law of another jurisdiction with elements similar to a felony involving moral turpitude in this state.
(c) At the option of the registrant, the registration form may be accompanied by four two and one-half inch by two and one-half inch black and white photographs of the lobbyist. The photographs may not be more than five years old. These photographs shall be included in the directory published under (e) of this section.
(d) If a change occurs in any of the information contained in a registration statement filed under (a) of this section, or in any accompanying document, an appropriate amendment shall be filed with the commission within 10 days after the change.
(e) Within 15 days after the convening of each regular session of the legislature, the commission shall publish a directory of registered lobbyists, containing the information prescribed in (b) of this section for each lobbyist and the photograph, if any, furnished by a lobbyist under (c) of this section. From time to time thereafter, the commission shall publish those supplements to the directory that in the commission's judgment may be necessary. The directory shall be made available to public officials and to the public at the following locations: a public place adjacent to the legislative chambers in the state capitol building, the office of the lieutenant governor, the legislative reference library of the Legislative Affairs Agency, and the commission's central office.
(f) Each lobbyist shall renew the registration annually by filing a new registration statement together with a new authorization to act as a lobbyist before engaging in lobbying. The lobbyist also shall file any reports or statements the lobbyist has failed to file for a previous reporting period. The commission may not renew lobbying credentials until this provision is complied with.
(g) An application for registration as a lobbyist under (a) of this section or for renewal of a registration under (f) of this section is subject to a fee of $250. The commission may not accept an application for registration or renew a registration until the fee is paid. This subsection does not apply to a volunteer lobbyist under AS 24.45.161 or a representational lobbyist under regulations of the commission.
(h) Upon request of the commission, information required under this section shall be submitted electronically.
(i) A person may not register if the person has been previously convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude in violation of a law of this state or the law of another jurisdiction with elements similar to a felony involving moral turpitude in this state.
(j) In this section,
(1) "felony involving moral turpitude" has the meaning given in AS 15.60.010;
(2) "previously convicted" means the defendant entered a plea of guilty, no contest, or nolo contendere, or has been found guilty by a court or jury; "previously convicted" does not include a conviction that has been set aside under AS 12.55.085 or a similar procedure in another jurisdiction, or that has been reversed or vacated by a court.
Sec. 24.45.051. Reports.
(a) Each lobbyist registered under AS 24.45.041 shall file with the commission a report concerning the lobbyist's activities during each reporting period prescribed in AS 24.45.081 , so long as the lobbyist continues to engage in lobbying activities. The report shall be made on a form prescribed by the commission and filed in accordance with AS 24.45.071 and 24.45.081. Upon request of the commission, information required under this section shall be submitted electronically. The report also must include any changes in the information required to be supplied under AS 24.45.041 (b) and the following information for the reporting period, as applicable:
(1) the source of income, as defined in AS 39.50.200 (a) and the monetary value of all payments, including but not limited to salary, fees, and reimbursement of expenses, received in consideration for or directly or indirectly in support of or in connection with influencing legislative or administrative action, and the full name and complete address of each person from whom amounts or things of value have been received and the total monetary value received from each person;
(2) the aggregate amount of disbursements or expenditures made or incurred during the period in support of or in connection with influencing legislative or administrative action by the lobbyist, or on behalf of the lobbyist by the lobbyist's employer in the following categories:
(A) food and beverages;
(B) living accommodations;
(3) the date and nature of any gift exceeding $100 in value made to a public official and the full name and official position of that person;
(4) the name and official position of each public official, and the name of each member of the immediate family of any of these officials, with whom the lobbyist has engaged in an exchange of money, goods, services, or anything of more than $100 in value and the nature and date of each of these exchanges and the monetary values exchanged;
(5) the name and address of any business entity in which the lobbyist knows or has reason to know that a public official is a proprietor, partner, director, officer or manager, or has a controlling interest, and whom the lobbyist has engaged in an exchange of money, goods, services, or anything of value and the nature and date of each exchange and the monetary value exchanged if the total value of these exchanges is $100 or more in a calendar year; and
(6) a notice of termination if the lobbyist has ceased the lobbying activity that required registration under this chapter and if this report constitutes the final report of the lobbyist's activities.
(b) A lobbyist required to report to the commission under (a) of this section, who provides or pays for food or beverage for immediate consumption by a legislator or legislative employee or a spouse or domestic partner of a legislator or legislative employee shall report the date the food or beverage was provided or paid for and the recipient's name and relationship to the legislator or legislative employee, unless the food and beverage
(1) cost $15 or less; or
(2) are provided as part of an event that is open to all legislators or legislative employees.
Sec. 24.45.061. Reports by employers of lobbyists.
(a) Within 15 days after employing, retaining, or contracting for the employment or retention of a lobbyist, the person who employs, retains, or who contracts for the services of a lobbyist shall file a statement with the commission authorizing or verifying that employment, retention, or contract for lobbying services.
(b) A person who employs, retains, or who contracts for the services of one or more lobbyists, whether independently or jointly with other persons, and who directly or indirectly makes payments to influence legislative or administrative action shall file a quarterly report containing
(1) the full name, complete business address and telephone number of the person making the report;
(2) information sufficient to identify the nature and interests of the person making the report;
(3) the total amount of payments made to influence legislative or administrative action during the period, and the name and address of each person to whom these payments have been made during the period by the maker of the report, together with the date and amount;
(4) the date and nature of any gift exceeding $100 in value made to any public official and the full name and official position of the recipient of each gift;
(5) a general description of the legislative or administrative action that the person making the report has attempted to influence;
(6) the name of each lobbyist employed or retained by the person making the report, together with the total amount paid to each lobbyist and the portion of that amount, if any, that was paid for specific purposes, including salary, fees, and reimbursement for expenses; and
(7) a notice of termination if the person filing a report has ceased employing or retaining a lobbyist registered under this chapter and if this report constitutes the final report of the lobbyist's activities on behalf of the maker of the report.
(c) Upon request of the commission, information required under this section shall be submitted electronically.
Sec. 24.45.071. Certification of reports.
Every statement or report required to be filed under this chapter must identify the full name of the person preparing it, the person's complete address and telephone number, and shall be certified as complete and correct, both by the person preparing it and by the person on whose behalf it is filed.
Sec. 24.45.081. Reporting periods.
Reports required under this chapter shall be filed during the calendar month following each calendar month during any part of which the legislature was in session and during the month following each calendar quarter when the legislature was not in session. However, if a lobbyist registered under this chapter has declared that the lobbyist seeks only to influence administrative action and not legislative action the lobbyist need only file a report required under this chapter for each calendar quarter. The period covered shall be the calendar month or the calendar quarter, as applicable, and shall in any event cover the period from the date of the last report filed under this chapter to the date of the end of the calendar month or quarter, as applicable, for which the report is being filed. The period covered shall not include any months covered in previous reports filed by the same person. When total amounts are required to be reported, totals shall be stated both for the period covered by the statement and for the entire calendar year to date.
Sec. 24.45.121. Prohibitions.
(a) A lobbyist may not
(1) engage in any activity as a lobbyist before registering under AS 24.45.041;
(2) do anything with the intent of placing a public official under personal obligation to the lobbyist or to the lobbyist's employer;
(3) intentionally deceive or attempt to deceive any public official with regard to any material fact pertinent to pending or proposed legislative or administrative action;
(4) cause or influence the introduction of a legislative measure solely for the purpose of thereafter being employed to secure its passage or its defeat;
(5) cause a communication to be sent to a public official in the name of any fictitious person or in the name of any real person, except with the consent of that person;
(6) accept or agree to accept any payment in any way contingent upon the defeat, enactment, or outcome of any proposed legislative or administrative action;
(7) serve as a member of a state board or commission, if the lobbyist's employer may receive direct economic benefit from a decision of that board or commission;
(8) serve as a campaign manager or director, serve as a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer on a finance or fund-raising committee, host a fund-raising event, directly or indirectly collect contributions for, or deliver contributions to, a candidate, or otherwise engage in the fund-raising activity of a legislative campaign or campaign for governor or lieutenant governor if the lobbyist has registered, or is required to register, as a lobbyist under this chapter, during the calendar year; this paragraph does not apply to a representational lobbyist as defined in the regulations of the Alaska Public Offices Commission, and does not prohibit a lobbyist from making personal contributions to a candidate as authorized by AS 15.13 or personally advocating on behalf of a candidate;
(9) offer, solicit, initiate, facilitate, or provide to or on behalf of a person covered by AS 24.60 a gift, other than food or beverage for immediate consumption or a compassionate gift under AS 24.60.075 ; however, this paragraph does not prohibit a lobbyist from providing
(A) a gift to a legislator or legislative employee who is a member of the lobbyist's immediate family as defined in AS 24.60.990 (a), if the gift is unconnected to the recipient's legislative status;
(B) tickets to a charity event described in AS 24.60.080 (a)(2)(B); or
(C) a contribution to a charity event under AS 24.60.080 (c)(10);
(10) make or offer a gift or a campaign contribution whose acceptance by the person to whom it is offered would violate AS 24.60 or AS 39.52.
(b) A person may not employ for pay or any consideration, or pay or agree to pay consideration to, a person to lobby who is not registered under AS 24.45.041 unless that person registers and that person does in fact so register before engaging in lobbying.
(c) A former member of the legislature may not engage in activity as a lobbyist before the legislature for a period of one year after the former member has left the legislature. This subsection does not prohibit a former member from acting as a volunteer lobbyist described in AS 24.45.161 (a)(1) or a representational lobbyist as defined under regulations of the commission.
(d) An individual may not, at any time that AS 39.52 prohibits that individual from engaging in activity as a lobbyist, register as a lobbyist under this chapter or engage in any activity as a lobbyist. This subsection does not prohibit registration or service as a volunteer lobbyist described in AS 24.45.161 (a)(1) or a representational lobbyist, as defined in regulation by the commission.
(e) The spouse or domestic partner of a legislator may not engage in activity as a lobbyist. This subsection does not prohibit the spouse or domestic partner from acting as a volunteer lobbyist under AS 24.45.161(a)(1) or a representational lobbyist, as defined in regulation by the commission.
Sec. 24.45.141. Civil penalty: Late registration, filing of required statements or reports.
A person who fails to register or to file a properly completed and certified report or statement, as applicable, within the time required by this chapter is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10 a day for each day the delinquency continues as determined by the commission subject to right of appeal to the superior court. An affidavit stating facts in mitigation may be submitted to the commission by a person against whom a civil penalty is assessed. However, the imposition of the penalties prescribed in this section or in AS 24.45.151 does not excuse the lobbyist or employer of a lobbyist from filing statements or reports required by this chapter.
Sec. 24.45.171. Definitions.
In this chapter
(1) "administrative action" means the proposal, drafting, development, consideration, amendment, adoption, approval, promulgation, issuance, modification, rejection, or postponement by any state agency of any rule or regulation, or any other quasi-legislative or quasi-judicial action or proceeding whether or not governed by AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act); "administrative action" does not include
(A) a proceeding or an action to determine the rights or duties of a person under existing statutes, regulations, or policies;
(B) the issuance, amendment, or revocation of a permit, license, or entitlement for use under existing statutes, regulations, or policies by the agency authorized to issue, amend, or revoke the permit, license, or entitlement for use;
(C) the enforcement of compliance with existing law or the imposition of sanctions for a violation of existing law;
(D) procurement activity, including the purchase or sale of property, goods, or services by the agency or the award of a grant contract;
(E) the issuance of, or ensuring compliance with, an opinion or activity related to a collective bargaining agreement including negotiating or enforcing the agreement;
(2) "agency" means a state department, division, commission, board, office, bureau, institution, corporation, authority, organization, committee, council or board in the executive branch, or independent of the executive branch, of state government;
(3) "commission" means the Alaska Public Offices Commission;
(4) "communicate directly" means to speak with a legislator, legislative employee, or public official;
(A) by telephone;
(B) by two-way electronic communication; or
(C) in person;
(5) "domestic partner" has the meaning given in AS 39.50.200 (a);
(A) means any payment to the extent that consideration of equal or greater value is not received;
(B) includes but is not limited to
(i) a loan, loan guarantee, forgiveness of a loan, payment of a loan by a third party, or an enforceable promise to make a payment except when full and adequate consideration is received;
(ii) the purchase of tickets for travel or for entertainment events; and
(iii) the granting of discounts or rebates for goods or services not extended to the public generally;
(C) does not include
(i) informational or promotional materials, including but not limited to books, reports, pamphlets, calendars, or periodicals; however, payments for travel or reimbursement for expenses may not be considered "informational material";
(ii) food and beverages consumed in places of public accommodation;
(7) "immediate family" means the spouse and dependent children of an individual;
(8) "individual" means a natural person;
(9) "influencing legislative or administrative action" means to communicate directly for the purpose of introducing, promoting, advocating, supporting, modifying, opposing, or delaying or seeking to do the same with respect to any legislative or administrative action;
(10) "legislative action" means the preparation, research, drafting, introduction, consideration, modification, amendment, approval, passage, enactment, defeat, or rejection of any bill, resolution, amendment, motion, report, nomination, appointment, or other matter by the legislature, or by a standing, interim, or special committee of the legislature, or by a member or employee of the legislature acting in an official capacity; it includes, but is not limited to, the action of the governor in approving or vetoing a bill or the action of the legislature in considering, overriding, or sustaining that veto and the action of the legislature in considering, confirming, or rejecting an executive appointment of the governor;
(11) "lobbyist" means a person who
(A) is employed and receives payments, or who contracts for economic consideration, including reimbursement for reasonable travel and living expenses, to communicate directly or through the person's agents with any public official for the purpose of influencing legislation or administrative action for more than 10 hours in any 30-day period in one calendar year; or
(B) represents oneself as engaging in the influencing of legislative or administrative action as a business, occupation, or profession;
(12) "payment" means the disbursement, distribution, transfer, loan, advance, deposit, gift, or other rendering or tendering of money, property, goods, or services or anything else of value;
(13) "payment to influence legislative or administrative action" means any of the following:
(A) a direct or indirect payment to a lobbyist whether for salary, fee, compensation for expenses, or any other purpose, by a person employing, retaining, or contracting for the services of the lobbyist separately or jointly with other persons;
(B) a payment in support of or assistance to a lobbyist or the lobbyist's activities, including but not limited to the direct payment of expenses incurred at the request or suggestion of the lobbyist;
(C) a payment that directly benefits a public official or a member of the immediate family of that official;
(D) a payment, including compensation, payment, or reimbursement for the services, time, or expenses of an employee for or in connection with direct communication with a public official;
(E) a payment for or in connection with soliciting or urging other persons to enter into direct communication with a public official;
(F) a payment or reimbursement for expenses in the categories set out in AS 24.45.051 (a)(2);
(14) "person", in addition to the terms set out in AS 01.10.060 includes a labor union; and
(15) "public official" or "public officer" means a public official as defined in AS 39.50.200 (a), a member of the legislature, or a legislative director as defined in AS 24.60.990 (a); however, it does not include a judicial officer or an elected or appointed municipal officer.
2 AAC 50.512. Filing a zero report
Each lobbyist or employer of a lobbyist required to file a report of his or her activities in accordance with AS 24.45 and this chapter shall report in accordance with the reporting periods set forth in AS 24.45.081 , regardless of the amount of the expenditures made or payments received, for so long as the lobbyist or the employer of a lobbyist remains registered. In the absence of any reportable lobbying activity during a reporting period, a lobbyist or the employer of a lobbyist shall certify that no expenditures were made or payments received by submitting a zero report for that period.
On December 3, 2009, the Alaska Public Offices Commission heard and approved this advisory opinion by a vote of 5 to 0.