Profile picture
Nat Herz @Nat_Herz
, 12 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
A year ago, I started hearing tips that some of Alaska's most influential lobbyists were helping candidates for the Legislature and governor organize fundraisers.

This is significant because Alaska law bars lobbyists from engaging in "fundraising activity."


The state Legislature approved the prohibition in the early 1990s.

The legislator who pushed for the law told me he did that because when lobbyists help candidates fundraise, it makes it harder for the candidates to say no to lobbyists' requests once they're in office

I did a bunch of reporting and found what seemed to be pretty clear cases of two lobbyists violating the prohibition on fundraising activity -- they'd been emailing out invitations to fundraiser events to their clients and friends.

When I asked him about it, one of the lobbyists, Jerry Mackie, showed me a letter he got last year from the commission that regulates lobbyists in Alaska.

The letter came from a commission staff member -- a paralegal, not an attorney.

The staffer said that it was okay for Mackie to send invitations to fundraisers because of an exemption in the law that allows lobbyists to "personally advocate" for a candidate.

This sounded like a dubious interpretation to me.

The other lobbyist, Ashley Reed, told me he'd consulted with the commission and been similarly informed by staff that it was okay to email fundraiser invitations. But he had no evidence that he'd done so, like a letter or phone records.

Mackie and Reed are two of Alaska's most influential lobbyists. They represent oil companies, mining companies, health care firms, Alaska Native corporations. Each has more than $700,000 in annual contracts: Pepsi. Armstrong Oil. Donlin Mine. ASRC.

They pushed back, hard, against my reporting. I took phone call after phone call (they are lobbyists, after all); Ashley Reed also called my editor several times, and sent an email to clients calling me an "activist reporter."

We still published our story. It's here.…
Then, yesterday, we published a follow-up.

It turns out Ashley Reed, after I started reporting the story, asked the commission that regulates lobbyists for a formal opinion on whether lobbyists should be able to email fundraiser invitations.

Their preliminary answer -- it's still a draft until approved by the politically-appointed commissioners in January -- is "no." That what Ashley and Jerry were doing was against the law.

Here's the follow-up story:…

This may seem like a pretty small thing. It is, honestly, a pretty small thing. But I do think it will have at least a little bit of an effect on the way that those lobbyists, and others, wield power in Juneau.

(end thread)

Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Nat Herz
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!