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Inside Look at Lobbyists in Alaska: Who's Spending, And How Much?

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), responsible for publishing campaign and finance disclosures in regards to Alaska's public officials and lobbyists, published its 2013 Lobbyist Directory last week, offering a snapshot of the movers and shakers in Alaska. As always, corporations, unions, social organizations, cities and municipalities and Native corporations all have major money invested in influencing the outcome of this year's legislative session.

According to APOC, more than 120 lobbyists are registered for this session, earning widely varying compensation, from $25 to $350 an hour, and up to $192,000 annually per client. So who's the top dog, at least financially?

According to APOC, the top-paid lobbyist this year is Kent Dawson, who has reported earning $964,000 from 17 different clients, including $84,000 from the city of Seward. The second-highest paid lobbyist is Wendy Chamberlain, who reported $891,500 in compensation from 14 different clients, including $120,000 alone from Pebble Partnership -- the organization advocating for the massive gold and copper mine in Southwest Alaska. Robert Evans and Jerry Mackie tied for third place, with each reporting about $794,000.

How does lobbying influence Alaska lawmaking?

From legislation on wastewater discharge rules for cruise ships to a controversial school voucher measure to proposed laws shaping Alaska's oil and gas industry -- including Gov. Sean Parnell's proposal to slash some $1 billion in taxes on oil companies -- state lawmakers are under the constant watch, and influence, of lobbyists. National companies and organizations also have a presence in the capitol's hallways. The National Rifle Association, which is trying to prevent new gun restrictions in the wake of high-profile shootings like Sandy Hook Elementary in December, is spending nearly ....

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