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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lobbying 101: Wining & Dining

posted by on March 29 at 15:46 PM

The author of the amendment that undid the bill to protect Maury Island from Glacier Northwest’s mining expansion, Rep. Al O’Brien (D-1, Mountlake Terrace), doesn’t show up Glacier Northwest’s lobbying expenditure reports.


Rep. Larry Springer (D-45, Kirkland), the other member of the Select Committed on Puget Sound who helped derail the Maury Island bill, sure does. Indeed, according to the report, Glacier lobbyist Steve Gano had Rep. Springer over for dinner at Gano’s house on February 22.

Politicians always scoff and say it doesn’t work this way. But it really does.

RSS icon Comments


How right you are.

But, at least you haven't seen the inside of a jury box like I did this week, and realized that any innocent pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcyclist will be cheerfully left to pay for their own medical expenses ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 29, 2007 4:43 PM

Too funny. Does this constitute being caught with your hand in the cookie jar?

Posted by J.R. | March 29, 2007 5:18 PM

I rarely pass up an opportunity to dump on Josh when I think he deserves it, but I really appreciate his attention to this issue.

This gravel mine threatens my community. We have been fighting these people for 10 years now. Trust me, people, this is NOT just some NIMBY thing.

The scale of this project is enormous, and no one can tell me that they can move that much gravel over a long period of time without spilling it into the Sound and fucking over the entire marine ecosystem.

Wherever you are, please pick up the phone and call, or e-mail your House members, and tell them they need to strip the O'Brien amendment out of SB 6011 and pass it. Thanks.

Posted by ivan | March 29, 2007 10:42 PM

This multinational conglomerate (Glacier aka Taiheiyo) is demanding that they have a right to lease State tidelands within an aquatic reserve. They want these precious lands so they can put in a massive industrial port and maximize their corporate profit.

Glacier already changed part of the Shoreline rules for this State in 2000, and then worked with State DNR to create a loophole where their massive industrial port "fits"(????) the goals of an aquatic reserve. Senators Poulsen, as well as Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, and other key Senators deserve MAJOR THANKS FOR THEIR WORK ON THIS.

That is especially true when this multinational comes armed with well connected lobbyists and attorneys and then cry foul when the environmental community from across the State says -- we support the Poulsen bill. We do not want our State aquatic reserve program damaged. The League of Women Voters, WCV, WEC, People for Puget Sound, Preserve Our Islands, State Audubon and others are working hard. But, Glacier has lots of connections in Olympia.

It seems that it should be simple to strip the amendments hung on the bill in committee and get it passed out of the House as it was sent over by the Senate.

I think it has become clear that citizens are tired nationwide and in this State of deals cut for one corporation. No more special deals for Halliburton. No more special deals for Abramoff. No more special deals for Taiheiyo Cement or its affiliate Glacier.

Stay tuned --


Posted by Ida van Lone | March 30, 2007 7:52 AM

Correlation does not equal causation.

Often, lobbyists spend time with politicians who already support their position in an effort to strategize about next steps.

I'm not going to argue that lobbying doesn't work...but it works in a much less dramatic way than conspiracy theorists would have us believe.

Posted by Timothy | March 30, 2007 8:10 AM

Larry Springer is also a wine dealer-- could they have just been talking their mutual love for vin rouge?

Posted by whined and dined? | March 30, 2007 8:46 AM


Your implication in this post is stupid and wrong. To suggest that a $25 dinner alters the vote of a legislator is silly. Guess what? I've had dinner at the Gano home before too...and I co-sponsored the Maury Island bill.

The suggestion that Larry opposed taking any steps to protect Maury Island bill is over-simplified. Larry took his responsibility seriously, asking more questions than other members of the committee, and spending more time than any of us (including me) learning about the policy details. Larry worked in good faith with me to try to find a win-win solution, such as a workable land swap. I don't know how Larry would have voted on the underlying bill (with my good land swap language)...and neither do you. He didn't get the chance to vote on it, because the bill was amended differently by others. The disappointing amendment in question was not offered by Larry.

From my vantage as Chair of the Puget Sound Committee, I can assure you that Larry Springer is an environmentalist with a long history of involvement and support for watershed planning and salmon recovery. More than any other member of the Puget Sound Committee, Larry pushed for stronger "teeth" in the big Puget Sound governance bill this year. I believe he supports all four of the priorities the Washington Environmental Council identified this year.

I know supporters of the bill were frustrated with Larry's caution, but ironically, that caution comes from him BEING principled, not from lacking your post implied.

Posted by Rep. Dave Upthegrove | March 31, 2007 5:38 PM

I hope that Puget Sound does not go the way of Chesapeake Bay back east. Faced with a dying bay, groups came together to pinpoint the problems and craft solutions. They now know what they must do.

The only problem is implementation. NOTHING IS GETTING DONE. So their Bay continues to decline because of the lack of political will.

Let us hope that our Legislature has REAL intentions of saving Puget Sound. Senator Poulsen and the other 25 senators who voted for SB 6011 understand that the Aquatic Reserve Program is a crucial piece in this effort.

House Chair of the Select Committee on Puget Sound Dave Upthegrove should also be commended for helping to move the bill. But the O'Brien amendment allowing the Glacier loophole to stand must be eliminated.

Passing 6011 is the first of many steps if we truly want to restore the Sound. IT IS INDEED OUR BACKYARD!

Posted by Ethel | April 1, 2007 1:56 PM

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