lobbyists

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.

TVW

It’s been 44 years since Washington voters approved an initiative to require the disclosure of campaign contributions – and 24 years since voters enacted limits on campaign donations. Now comes a proposal to update those laws and usher in a new era of publicly-financed elections.

Initiative 1464 on the November ballot is a 23-page rewrite of the laws governing political campaigns in Washington.

mathteacherguy / Flickr

How many free meals is too many? That’s the question an ethics panel aims to answer at a public hearing Tuesday in Olympia. The Legislative Ethics Board will consider a draft proposal to limit how many free meals lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

It looks like Washington lawmakers may adjourn their 60-day legislative session without addressing the issue of lobbyist-paid entertainment. Free meals for lawmakers became an issue last year after we reported on several state senators who regularly allowed lobbyists to pick up the tab.

In Wash. State, Private Lobbyists Get Public Pension

Aug 25, 2013
Mike Groll / AP Photo

As a lobbyist in New York's statehouse, Stephen Acquario is doing pretty well. He pulls down $204,000 a year, more than the governor makes, gets a Ford Explorer as his company car and is afforded another special perk:

Even though he's not a government employee, he is entitled to a full state pension.

He's among hundreds of lobbyists in at least 20 states, including Washington state, who get public pensions because they represent associations of counties, cities and school boards, an Associated Press review found. Legislatures granted them access decades ago on the premise that they serve governments and the public. In many cases, such access also includes state health care benefits.