lobbying

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

On the evening of Monday, March 23, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered a televised address from his office at the Capitol to announce his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. That order effectively shut down as many as 230-thousand Washington businesses deemed nonessential.

Two days prior, a lobbyist with deep, personal ties to Inslee had contacted one of the governor’s senior policy advisors on behalf of the commercial fishing industry.

“I’m working with [t]he At-Sea processors which is the biggest fishery in the country and the second biggest in the world,” wrote Brian Bonlender in a March 21 email to Charles Knutson, who advises Inslee on economic development, innovation and global affairs.

Bonlender, whose connection to Inslee dated to the early 1990s, wanted to know if the governor was going to designate critical infrastructure -- exempt from any shutdown order -- and, if so, whether commercial fishing would be included.

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Following eight months of meetings, a workgroup on the prevention of sexual harassment in the Washington state House is recommending the formation of an independent office where victims could report misconduct.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Lobbyists in Oregon would have to publicly disclose their positions on bills they're trying to influence under a measure approved by the state House Thursday.

Cacophony / Wikimedia

Oregon lawmakers are considering making lobbyists provide more information about the bills they're working on. The House Rules Committee heard testimony on the measure Tuesday.

Two Prominent Oregon Business Groups Announce Merger

Nov 17, 2016
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The two largest business lobbying groups in Oregon will merge next year. The organizations say the move will give business interests a more unified voice at the state Capitol.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network files

Lobbyists play a key role in political fundraising. Just consider the invitation to a fundraiser Wednesday night for the Speaker and the Majority Leader of the Washington state House.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Lobbyists are paid to try to influence legislation. One way they build relationships with lawmakers is by hosting political fundraisers. And that’s happening a lot this election season with lobbyists for business, labor and other interests.

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Washington lawmakers are meeting at the state Capitol this week to get ready for the 2016 legislative session. If lawmakers are back in town, that means lobbyists are too. So why squander the moment?

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

Nearly two years after public radio and the Associated Press investigated lobbyist-paid meals for Washington lawmakers, the issue is still a topic of discussion in the legislature.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In Washington, D.C., there’s a waiting period before members of Congress and their staffers can work as lobbyists.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

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

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

An ethics panel in Washington has ruled that five Republican state senators did not violate Washington ethics law when they accepted dozens of free meals from lobbyists earlier this year.

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

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.

Washington Legislature

A public radio investigation into lobbyist paid meals has prompted an ethics complaint against three state lawmakers.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

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.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – More than 60 lobbyists in Washington have been sent warning letters. That’s because they failed to submit monthly reports that detail how much they earned and how much they spent to lobby state lawmakers.

The warning letters come from Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission. Here's a flavor of what the out-of-compliance lobbyists received in their mailboxes.

“This letter is the only formal warning you will receive from PDC staff for not filing timely lobbying reports during 2013.”

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.