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66 Wash. lobbyists get warning letters for lack of transparency



More than 60 lobbyists in Washington have been sent warning letters for failing to submit monthly reports that detail how much they earned and how much they spent to lobby state lawmakers. 

“This letter is the only formal warning you will receive from PDC staff for not filing timely lobbying reports during 2013," said Lori Anderson of the Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission, which issued the letters.

After the letters come the fines—$150 to start, $300 for a second violation. Anderson said lobbyist reports are supposed to make the legislative process more transparent to the public.

“They can see who has hired a lobbyist and what particular issues different companies are lobbying," she said. "They can check out who is being entertained in connection with lobbying, which legislators are being entertained.”

The agency has not yet released a list of which lobbyists got the warning letters, but the 66 recipiens represent less than eight percent of the lobbyists registered in Washington.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.