Public agencies were three of the five biggest spenders when it came to lobbying state lawmakers during the eight-month period ending December 31, 2009, according to spending reports filed with the State Ethics Commission.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply ranked #2 and #3, just behind the top spender, Altria, parent of tobacco giant Philip Morris. Wellcare Health Insurance was #4, followed by Hawaii County at #5.
The three public agencies spent a total of $196,666 during the period when the legislature was not in session, the records show.
Altria, which topped the list with $86,519.62 in lobbying expenses, was represented by well-known lobbyist “Red” Morris.
Veteran lobbyist Jon T. Okudara (Okudara & Associates) represented both HTA ($80,000 in fees) and Hawaii County ($50,000 fee). The Board of Water Supply hired SPJ Consulting LLC (Patrick K.I. Lee, James Pacopac, and Scott Matsuura).
Wellcare had several registered lobbyists, led by attorney-lobbyist Rick Tsujimura.
Hawaii Public Policy Advocates (Melissa Pavlicek and Stephen Teves) represented both Kamehameha Schools (#6 with total lobbying expenditures of 46,150) and the Western States Petroleum Association (#7 with $46,133 in lobbying costs).
The following list shows the top 20 lobbying organizations ranked by the total amount spent during the May-December 2009 period.
At the other end of the scale, organizations that reported that they spent nothing on lobbying, including staff time, include the Hawaii State Teachers Association, ILWU, Kuilima Resort Company, and the James Campbell Co.
Reports had to be postmarked by Monday, February 1. Reports received late may not be included in this list.
Additional information on registered lobbyists and expenditures can be found on the State Ethics Commission web site.