lobbyists

Government Transparency
3:44 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Washington Ethics Board To Consider Crackdown On Lobbyist-Paid Meals

Richard Hodgin of Seattle testified in favor of stricter free meal rules for Washington state lawmakers.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:26 pm

By next January, Washington lawmakers should have clearer guidance on when it’s OK to accept free meals from lobbyists.

Read more
Government Transparency
8:36 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Lobbyist-Paid Meals Legislation Appears To Die In Washington Statehouse

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:15 pm

It looks like Washington lawmakers may adjourn their 60-day legislative session without addressing the issue of lobbyist-paid entertainment.

Read more
Politics
4:18 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Washington Lawmaker Hopes To Make Lobbying More Transparent

Rep. Jim Moeller
Washington State Legislature

Ross Reynolds checks in with Washington state Representative Jim Moeller (D-Vancouver) about a proposed bill that would require lobbyists to electronically document all expenses spent on "wooing" state lawmakers in a searchable public database.

Entertaining Politicians
9:23 am
Tue September 24, 2013

New Lobbyist Meal Form To Distinguish Chowder From Steak

A view of the new form lobbyists use to report entertainment spending in Washington state
Washington Public Disclosure Commission

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:55 pm

The staff at Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission has recommended changes to how lobbyists report their meals out with lawmakers. 

Read more
Washington State Lobbyists
9:29 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Washington Ethics Board Tackles Lobbyist-Paid Meals

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:56 pm

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board is tackling the issue of how often lawmakers can accept meals from lobbyists. The Board spent nearly two hours behind closed doors Thursday discussing a complaint against several lawmakers who dined out regularly with lobbyists last session.

The complaint was triggered by our investigation with the Associated Press into lawmakers who accept free meals from lobbyists. That’s permitted if legislative business is discussed, but only on an infrequent basis.

Read more
Citizen Lobbyist
11:42 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Determined Father Learns The Ropes In Olympia, Gets A Bill Passed

Austin Jenkins. Citizen lobbyist Jeff Schwartz with his wife Cathy and sons Jacob (on couch) and Sam at their home in Kirkland, Washington.

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 4:44 pm

There are nearly 900 registered lobbyists in Washington state. These are the paid professionals who try to influence the outcome of the legislative process. But this year, a determined dad proved even outsiders can play the legislative game – with a bit of help.

So how does a Microsoft test manager become a citizen lobbyist? For Jeff Schwartz it all started back in 2007 when his son Jacob was about four months old.

“It was right about December that he started excessively throwing up and vomiting,” Schwartz recalls.

Read more
Washington State Lobbyists
12:10 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

What Do Lobbyists Expect When They Take Washington State Lawmakers To Dinner?

Flickr Photo/Robyn Lee

Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins joins Ross Reynolds with a special report on state lobbying efforts.  Plus, Austin and Ross discuss the late Republican Washington State Senator Mike Carrell of Lakewood.   

Entertaining Lawmakers
11:02 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Washington Lobbyists Routinely Fail To Properly Report Entertainment

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:50 pm

Lobbyists in Washington state routinely fail to properly report dinners out with lawmakers. And dinners over $50 in value do not always show up – as required – on lawmakers’ personal financial statements. Those are among the findings of a public radio investigation – conducted in cooperation with the Associated Press.

The 'Morton Rule'

When retired Senator Bob Morton was in the Washington legislature, he’d go out to lunch with a lobbyist. But he had a rule.

Read more
Breaking Bread With Lobbyists
8:01 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Influence Game: Wining And Dining Washington Lawmakers After Hours

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:39 pm

In the first three months of this year, lobbyists in Washington state spent more than $200,000 on entertainment. Much of that money was spent to wine and dine state lawmakers during the just-concluded 105-day session. But what are lobbyists and their clients getting in exchange for picking up the tab?

After the legislative day ends up at the Capitol, it’s pretty common for some of the players to decamp. They go to one of a handful of usually higher-end Olympia establishments. This is where – over a meal, perhaps a bottle of Washington wine – the work continues.

Read more
Top Olympia Lobbyists
8:49 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Washington Teachers' Union Top Lobbying Spender In Olympia So Far

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:45 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – New disclosure reports are out on money spent for lobbying in Olympia. Who tops the list? So far Washington’s teachers’ union is spending the most to influence state lawmakers this legislative session.

The Washington Education Association has five top priorities for the 2013 legislature. The list includes more money for schools as directed by the Washington Supreme Court. The union is also pushing for competitive salaries and benefits for teachers and support staff.

Read more
Tricks Of The Trade
8:32 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Inside The World Of Business Lobbying In Olympia

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:27 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the world of state legislatures, there’s a powerful breed of players who normally shun the spotlight. They prefer to work behind the scenes to influence policy outcomes. We’re talking about business lobbyists. Inside this often hidden world, you’ll meet two of the most successful corporate contract lobbyists in the Washington state capitol. And learn some of their tricks of the trade.

Read more