Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 120

04/07/2010 01:00 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Meeting Postponed to 1:15 pm Today --
+ SB 284 CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 110 PRESERVATION OF EVIDENCE/DNA I.D. SYSTEM TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 110(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SB 284 - CAMPAIGN EXPENDITURES                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:10:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
CS  FOR SENATE  BILL  NO.  284(FIN), "An  Act  relating to  state                                                               
election  campaigns,  the duties  of  the  Alaska Public  Offices                                                               
Commission,  the reporting  and  disclosure  of expenditures  and                                                               
independent  expenditures,   the  filing  of  reports,   and  the                                                               
identification  of  certain   communications  in  state  election                                                               
campaigns; prohibiting expenditures  and contributions by foreign                                                               
nationals  in state  elections;  and providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS expressed an interest  in getting the bill right the                                                               
first time  to ensure that  he does not leave  behind legislation                                                               
that is ambiguous.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:14:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH, Alaska State  Legislature, speaking as the                                                               
chair of the  Senate Judiciary Standing Committee,  sponsor of SB
284,  and  noting  that  members'  packets  include  a  sectional                                                               
analysis, explained that  Section 1 of SB 284  amends language to                                                               
clarify   that  the   chapter  applies   to  all   contributions,                                                               
expenditures,  and   communications  made  for  the   purpose  of                                                               
influencing  the outcome  of  an election;  that  Section 2  adds                                                               
language to clarify  that the commission will  assist all persons                                                               
to comply with  the requirements of AS 15.13; and  that Section 3                                                               
amends AS  15.13.040(d), to clarify  that every person  making an                                                               
independent  expenditure  must  make   a  full  report  of  those                                                               
expenditures,  unless  the person  is  exempt  from report.    He                                                               
reminded the  committee that "persons" includes  corporations and                                                               
labor unions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:16:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS  asked  what  the   term  "exempt  from  reporting"                                                               
entails.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  directed attention to  language on page  6, lines                                                               
14-25, which read as follows:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
               Sec. 15.13.084. Prohibited expenditures. A                                                                     
     person may not make an expenditure                                                                                         
                    (1) anonymously, unless the expenditure                                                                     
     is                                                                                                                         
                         (A) paid for by an individual                                                                          
     acting independently  of any person [GROUP  OR NONGROUP                                                                
     ENTITY AND INDEPENDENTLY OF ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL];                                                                         
                         (B) made to influence the outcome                                                                      
     of a ballot  proposition as that term is  defined by AS                                                                    
     15.13.065(c); and                                                                                                          
                         (C) made for                                                                                           
                              (i) a billboard or sign; or                                                                       
                              (ii) printed material, other                                                                      
     than  an advertisement  made in  a  newspaper or  other                                                                    
     periodical;                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  offered his understanding  that this is  the only                                                               
category  of  expenditure  still  unreported and  allowed  to  be                                                               
anonymous under  state laws,  and it is  a "remnant"  the sponsor                                                               
chose not to address in SB 284.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH, in  response to Chair Ramras, said  the bill does                                                               
not  affect  current laws  regarding  candidates;  however, if  a                                                               
person donates $50  to an independent expenditure  for or against                                                               
a candidate,  the person's  name and the  amount donated  will be                                                               
reported to the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC).                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS said  he would be offering an amendment  so that the                                                               
same rules that  apply to candidates would apply  to the proposed                                                               
bill.    He indicated  that  language  on  page 3,  lines  16-20,                                                               
addresses this issue.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:19:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  noted that that  is Section 4, and  he emphasized                                                               
that  Section  5 does  not  pertain  to  candidates; there  is  a                                                               
separate  reporting  section  in  AS 15.13.040  that  covers  the                                                               
reports made by  candidates.  Section 4 pertains  to groups, non-                                                               
group entities, labor unions, and corporations, he said.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS cited  paragraph (5), on page 3,  lines 16-20, which                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                    (5) the aggregate amount of all                                                                         
     contributions  made  to the  person,  if  any, for  the                                                                
     purpose of influencing the outcome  of an election; for                                                                
     all  contributions to  the person  that exceed  $100 in                                                                
     the aggregate in  a year, the date  of the contribution                                                                
     and amount  contributed by each contributor;  and for a                                                                
     contributor                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  concluded that  that means there  would be  no APOC                                                               
record for  anyone who  gives under $100.   He  expressed concern                                                               
that that could lead to  the aggregation of many small donations,                                                               
resulting in  "an amorphous entity  that is spending money."   He                                                               
said that  seems to defeat  some of the  "more sledgehammer-like"                                                               
provisions of SB 284.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:21:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  explained that  Section 5  amends language  in AS                                                               
15.13.040(h), to  clarify that the  reporting requirements  of AS                                                               
15.13.040(d)  do not  apply  to an  expenditure  made by  certain                                                               
individuals  acting independently  of  every  other person;  that                                                               
[Section 6] amends  AS 15.13.040(p) to clarify that  a person who                                                               
is required to disclose contributions  received by that person in                                                               
an  expenditure  report  must  report  the  true  source  of  the                                                               
contributions as  the contributor;  and that [Section  7] defines                                                               
director  and officer  for the  purposes of  AS 15.13.040(e),  as                                                               
that subsection is amended [by the bill].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:23:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH,  in  response  to questions  from  Chair  Ramras                                                               
pertaining to Section 5, concurred  that the language refers to a                                                               
single individual  with a  single issue,  and explained  that the                                                               
$500 limit  in a calendar  year applies to billboards,  signs, or                                                               
printed material concerning a ballot proposition.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH explained  that  Section 8  is  a provision  that                                                               
requires entities  to establish  a political  activities account.                                                               
Currently,  he said,  candidates  set up  these accounts  without                                                               
being required to do so, and the  bill sponsor chose to make it a                                                               
requirement now that  new entities will be taking  part in Alaska                                                               
elections, so  that their expenditures  can be  better monitored.                                                               
Senator French  explained that Section  9 amends AS  15.13.067 to                                                               
clarify who  may make an  expenditure that is not  an independent                                                               
expenditure in a state election for public office.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS directed  attention to  language in  Section 8,  on                                                               
page 4, lines 29-31, which read as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                    (c) Each person who has established a                                                                       
     political activities  account under this  section shall                                                                    
     preserve  all  records  necessary to  substantiate  the                                                                    
       person's compliance with the requirements of this                                                                        
     section for each of the six preceding years.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS asked how long the records would be held.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH answered six years.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS asked the intent behind  such a long period of time.                                                               
He said he  does not mind the provision being  applied to unions,                                                               
corporations, or environmental groups,  but questioned holding to                                                               
the  same standard  persons who  have a  more narrow  focus.   He                                                               
explained, for  example, that  he doesn't want  a group  that has                                                               
raised  $50,000 in  order to  positively  influence a  government                                                               
obligation (GO)  bond, and  then is shut  down in  perpetuity, to                                                               
have to hold that information for 6 years.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH recommended that Mr. Ptasin address this issue.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:29:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO noted that the  language on page 4, line 22,                                                               
read, "nongroup  entity with an  annual operating budget  of $250                                                               
or less", and he asked if that should read "or more".                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said  he questioned that language as  well, but he                                                               
deferred to Mr. Bullard or Mr. Ptasin for clarification.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:30:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  asked for  confirmation that the  State of                                                               
Alaska and  a municipality cannot  advocate for the passage  of a                                                               
GO bond because both are considered  to be a person, according to                                                               
statute.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  responded  that   he  thinks  either  one  could                                                               
advocate for  a GO  bond, but questioned  whether they  can spend                                                               
public monies to do so.   In response to a follow-up question, he                                                               
said he  thinks it is  accurate to say  this is because  both are                                                               
considered to be a person under statute.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:31:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH   returned  to   the  sectional  analysis.     He                                                               
acknowledged there has  been a lot of concern about  the new U.S.                                                               
Supreme  Court ruling  allowing not  only corporations,  but also                                                               
foreign  corporations and  foreign  nationals  to participate  in                                                               
elections in Alaska.  He  explained that Section 10 addresses the                                                               
issue of  foreign nationals  and is  drawn directly  from federal                                                               
law.   He maintained that it  is important to mirror  federal law                                                               
so the state  APOC can use the same blocking  provisions that the                                                               
FEC would use  should a foreign national begin to  spend money in                                                               
the state's elections.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS asked how this  provision would affect those foreign                                                               
companies with American subsidiaries.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  replied that  that issue  is best  exemplified in                                                               
[paragraph  (5)] of  Section 10.   He  explained that  Section 10                                                               
lists those  entities considered  to be  foreign nationals.   The                                                               
language of paragraph (5) is on  page 5, line 29, through page 6,                                                               
line 2, and read as follows:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                         (5) a domestic subsidiary of an                                                                        
     entity described in  (2) - (4) of this  subsection or a                                                                    
     domestic corporation controlled  by an entity described                                                                    
     in  (2)  -  (4)  of this  subsection,  if  that  entity                                                                    
     finances,  participates in,  or  selects  a person  who                                                                    
     participates  in the  making  of a  contribution or  an                                                                    
     expenditure  of  the  domestic subsidiary  or  domestic                                                                    
     corporation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH said the issue is  the degree to which the foreign                                                               
company is controlling the subsidiary.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:34:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  said although  he does  not know  who pays  for the                                                               
advertising  for  the Pebble  Mine  partnership,  it is  apparent                                                               
through discussions  with the three producers  that the decisions                                                               
are made  by a higher  authority - "the  mother ship."   He asked                                                               
how the standard would be set.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:35:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH surmised  that it  will always  be difficult  for                                                               
APOC  or any  other  entity  to prove  that  instruction for  the                                                               
placement of  the expenditure that  came from a  local subsidiary                                                               
was or was not ordered by a higher corporate force.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS   expressed  concern   about  ambiguity   and  that                                                               
paragraph  (5) of  Section 10  may dampen  discourse rather  than                                                               
expand it.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:38:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  said  SB  284  engenders  philosophical  debates                                                               
regarding who participates.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:38:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  explained  that  Section  11  provides  that  no                                                               
person, other than an individual  exempt from reporting, may make                                                               
an expenditure,  unless the  source of  the expenditure  has been                                                               
disclosed; Section 12 amends language  in AS 15.13.084 to clarify                                                               
that a person  may not make an expenditure  anonymously unless it                                                               
is made for certain communications,  as discussed previously; and                                                               
Section 13 expands  the communication identification requirements                                                               
of AS 15.13.090  to apply to communications made  by all persons,                                                               
and  additionally  requires  a person  other  than  a  candidate,                                                               
individual, or  political party to:   one, identify  the person's                                                               
principle  officer; two,  include a  statement from  that officer                                                               
approving the  communication; three,  provide the address  of the                                                               
person's  principle place  of business;  and  four, identify  the                                                               
person's five largest  contributors.  He offered  his belief that                                                               
Sections 13 and 14 would be  the topic of debate and amendment as                                                               
the bill goes forward.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON opined  that print  advertising should  be                                                               
distinguished   from  electronic,   visual,   and   audio.     He                                                               
recommended  that   in  advertisement  there  be   a  five-second                                                               
profound statement  for or against  an issue, which  clearly puts                                                               
forth who is making the statement.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:40:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  noted that  when an  Alaska Gasline  Inducement Act                                                               
(AGIA) hearing  took place  in Fairbanks a  couple years  ago, he                                                               
assembled  17 businesses  that each  put in  $1,000 related  to a                                                               
rally  900 constituents  attended in  support of  getting natural                                                               
gas  to Fairbanks.    He  expressed his  desire  to preserve  the                                                               
opportunity for the public to participate and to be protected.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:44:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   FRENCH  explained   that   Section   14  provides   how                                                               
communication identification  requirements must be met  in print,                                                               
video, and audio  advertising.  He noted  that the identification                                                               
requirement for radio and other audio  media [as shown on page 8,                                                               
lines 7-11],  is more succinct, in  order to fit within  the time                                                               
allotted in radio  advertising.  In response to  Chair Ramras, he                                                               
said he timed a radio  advertisement; however, the timing was not                                                               
the same  as it would be  under SB 284, because  the person doing                                                               
the voice-over included  the city, state, and  place of business.                                                               
He opined  that the listener would  be well-served to know  if an                                                               
entity  advertising   is  actually   backed  by  three   top  oil                                                               
companies.   In response to  Chair Ramras, he indicated  that the                                                               
identification portion  of the radio advertisement  was 10-12 out                                                               
of 30 seconds, which he said he finds acceptable.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS said that is not acceptable to him.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH explained  that Section  15 requires  expenditure                                                               
reports  to be  filed within  10  days of  the expenditure  being                                                               
made.   He offered  his understanding that  a related  House bill                                                               
"took a  stricter view of  that."   He explained that  Section 16                                                               
amends the  language of  AS 15.13.111(a)  to require  all persons                                                               
who  are required  to report  to preserve  certain records  for a                                                               
period  of  six  years;  Section  17  removes  language  from  AS                                                               
15.13.135 that  permitted only  individuals, groups,  or nongroup                                                               
entities   to  make   independent  expenditures   [supporting  or                                                               
opposing a candidate] and adds unions and corporations.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:47:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS reiterated his concern  about entities that form for                                                               
one purpose and then disband.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH offered  his understanding  that  those types  of                                                               
entities would be a group entity  focused on doing a good work in                                                               
the  community without  making  a profit  or  existing past  that                                                               
effort.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  surmised that  the type  of group  he is  trying to                                                               
preserve and protect is included  in the language that is deleted                                                               
by Section 17.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  noted  that  the  terms  "group"  and  "nongroup                                                               
entity" are also  being deleted from Section 16, on  page 8, line                                                               
19, because "person" is all-encompassing  now so that everyone is                                                               
treated equally.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS expressed concern with  a one-size-fits-all plan and                                                               
what it  might do to  smaller entities  that are not  planning to                                                               
exist beyond  a certain  project, such  as the  aforementioned 17                                                               
contributors to the rally.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:49:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  pointed out  that in this  regard, the  bill does                                                               
not change existing  law; it just includes the new  players - the                                                               
corporations and  unions - into  the same provisions of  law that                                                               
existed before the U.S. Supreme Court decision.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH  continued  with  the  sectional  analysis.    He                                                               
explained  that Section  [18] addresses  what will  happen if  an                                                               
entity  breaks  the  law,  and  replaces  "candidate,  group,  or                                                               
individual" with "person".  He  noted that campaign misconduct in                                                               
the second  degree is a Class  B misdemeanor.  He  explained that                                                               
Section 19  repeals AS  15.13.140(a), which  is a  provision that                                                               
provided that the  chapter should not be  interpreted to prohibit                                                               
a person from making independent  expenditure in support of or in                                                               
opposition to a  ballot propositional question.   He said Section                                                               
19  removes ambiguity.   Finally,  Senator French  explained that                                                               
Section 20 gives the Act an immediate effective date.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH,  in response to Representative  Lynn, offered his                                                               
understanding   that  implicit   in  every   bill  passed   is  a                                                               
severability clause.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT   SMITH,    Legislative   Liaison,    Alaska   Broadcasting                                                               
Association; Co-owner,  KBOK/KRXX Radio, testifying on  behalf of                                                               
ABA and himself,  stated that all broadcasters  fully respect the                                                               
need  for transparency.    He expressed  his  chief concern  that                                                               
under  SB  284,  radio  stations would  become  crippled  in  the                                                               
process of  a long disclosure,  and clients would  decide against                                                               
advertising  via  radio.    He  related  an  instance  when  that                                                               
happened in the past.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH  said radio  stations tend to  sell commercials  in 30-                                                               
and  60-second units.   He  said he  created a  simulation of  an                                                               
advertisement  using  the  form   of  disclosure  that  would  be                                                               
required under SB 284, and  his professional disc jockey (DJ) was                                                               
able to  read the  disclosure in 13.5  seconds, which  would mean                                                               
nearly 50  percent of  a 30-second  commercial going  toward this                                                               
purpose.    He said  that  is  a  major portion  of  advertisers'                                                               
budgets  going  to disclose  who  they  are, which  could  really                                                               
discourage the smaller group, as  mentioned by Chair Ramras, from                                                               
advertising on air.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH,  in response to  Representative Gatto, said  the speed                                                               
at which he asked  his DJ to read when testing  the timing of the                                                               
disclosure was  "hard speed."   He said  hard speed is  clear and                                                               
audible, but not as fast as  a "lightening read."  In response to                                                               
a follow-up  question, he said  regulations require a DJ  to read                                                               
in a reasonable manner in order to be understood.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:56:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH, in  response to  Representative K.  Holmes, estimated                                                               
that the  aforementioned test  run could have  been trimmed  to 9                                                               
seconds.   In  response to  Representative  Lynn, he  said it  is                                                               
impossible to guess  how much revenue may be lost  as a result of                                                               
people  not advertising  through  radio because  of the  proposed                                                               
disclosure requirement, but  he said the concern  is great enough                                                               
for him to  have flown to Juneau  to testify.  He  said he thinks                                                               
smaller groups would be more greatly affected.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:57:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG noted  that there  are 3  provisions in                                                               
the bill that address that question.   First, language on page 6,                                                               
line 29, requires that all  communications be clearly identified.                                                               
Second, language on  page 7, line 28,  requires the communication                                                               
to be easily  discernable.  Finally, language on page  8, line 6,                                                               
requires the audio  communication to be read in a  manner that is                                                               
easily heard.   He  questioned the  use of  the word  "heard" and                                                               
suggested   instead   that   the  bill   sponsor   consider   use                                                               
"understood".                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN suggested "easily discernable".                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG concurred.    He explained  that he  is                                                               
hard of hearing and sometimes  hears words without out completely                                                               
understanding them.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:59:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked  whether the public cares  about who -                                                               
other  than candidates,  organizations, or  campaigns -  pays for                                                               
advertising.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH  said he  has no data  in that regard.   He  noted that                                                               
there  are a  series of  Federal Communications  Commission (FCC)                                                               
regulations that would also apply,  in terms of disclosure; there                                                               
are requirements beyond any surveys that could be done.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS again  relayed that his concern is  whether the bill                                                               
would dampen discourse.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH, in  response  to  Chair Ramras,  said  that during  a                                                               
municipal  election   there  are  anywhere  from   5-9  different                                                               
entities  working on  different  issues and  an  equal number  of                                                               
private  groups.   In  a major  statewide  election, he  related,                                                               
there tends  to be more  people involved within  organized groups                                                               
both inside  and outside the state.   He surmised the  reason for                                                               
this  is because  statewide elections  bring  forth more  voters,                                                               
which requires  more outreach to communicate  messages beyond the                                                               
big  cities.    In  response  to  comments  and  a  question,  he                                                               
indicated that  as the  fifth largest city  in the  state, Kodiak                                                               
would have statewide groups involved with its elections.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS asked  how  the requirement  for  three top  people                                                               
would be grouped from various organizations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH relayed  that he  had been  asked to  come before  the                                                               
legislature to ask  - should there be a requirement  to name more                                                               
than the top contributor - that  another method for people to see                                                               
that be provided, either through APOC  or by means of a directive                                                               
to go to  another source.  His interpretation, he  added, is that                                                               
the  company  name  would  be   sufficient,  because  that  would                                                               
identify who  the interested party is  and the message.   He said                                                               
it  would be  obvious who  was  behind an  advertisement if,  for                                                               
example, it was an advertisement  to promote drilling for oil and                                                               
BP's name was listed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  questioned if naming  BP three times  would satisfy                                                               
the requirement to  list the top three contributors.   He offered                                                               
an  example  of a  union  listed,  and  he questioned  how  three                                                               
members of that union would be chosen to list.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SMITH  offered his hope that  merely listing the name  of the                                                               
union  would   be  enough,  because   that  would   disclose  the                                                               
organization involved.  He added  that seeing the names listed of                                                               
three people inside  of that union would not mean  much to him as                                                               
a voter.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that  up until recently his office                                                               
was tracking  cases in  which Citizens  United was  discussed, to                                                             
gather  any information  that  may help  in  determining how  any                                                               
federal or state court was  interpreting or utilizing opinions in                                                               
that case.   He asked if any related information  has come out in                                                               
the last three weeks.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN PTACIN, Assistant Attorney  General, Labor and State Affairs                                                               
Section,  Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department  of Law  (DOL),                                                               
explained that  there were two  cases in  the last three  weeks -                                                               
one in  the District  Court of  Appeals in  Washington, D.C.   He                                                               
reviewed that  there is a provision  in federal law that  did not                                                               
allow "a  bunch of people  to ... group assemble."   Furthermore,                                                               
the  provision limited  the  amount of  money  that groups  could                                                               
bring  in from  individual contributions.   As  a district  court                                                               
case, he noted, it does not  really impact any of the analysis in                                                               
SB  284.   He related  that there  was another  case that  upheld                                                               
certain limits  on "soft money,"  which is also a  provision that                                                               
is  not addressed  in SB  284.   He noted  that there  is a  case                                                               
coming  to the  U.S. Supreme  Court at  the end  of the  term, in                                                               
which the court will discuss  extending anonymous speech into new                                                               
areas, and  that discussion may  have an impact depending  on how                                                               
far the court goes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:10:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PTACIN, in  response to a follow-up question,  said there was                                                               
a  Washington state  ballot initiative  that was  held about  two                                                               
years ago.   The question  raised was whether the  signatures can                                                               
be  withheld from  public disclosure;  whether a  person signing,                                                               
who could be harassed because  of signing, could petition to keep                                                               
that signature  from public  view.  This  distinction may  or may                                                               
not  expand  the court's  position  on  what  can and  cannot  be                                                               
anonymous action  in political  speech, and  whether that  is, in                                                               
fact, political speech.   He said that is  scheduled for argument                                                               
at  the end  of  the month,  and  he surmised  there  would be  a                                                               
decision by late June.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON questioned whether  there would be some way                                                               
to clarify that the person  advocating and spending money for any                                                               
issue is  for or against  an issue -  a direct statement  made in                                                               
audio advertising.  He clarified  that as a television viewer, he                                                               
is more interested  in being given a clear message  as to whether                                                               
the  person involved  in the  advertisement is  for or  against a                                                               
particular issue.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PTACIN said whether a person  is for or against an issue must                                                               
be implicit in the advertisement.   Adding a secondary disclaimer                                                               
is an issue he said he would like to review further.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  clarified that he is  only concerned about                                                               
the issue  as it pertains  to audio and visual  advertisement; he                                                               
said he is not concerned about print.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS  summarized  that  this issue  seems  to  be  about                                                               
disclosure and discourse - whether  or not seeking to expand upon                                                               
the former will risk dampening  the latter.  He expressed concern                                                               
about ambiguities and how they are handled by APOC.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:16:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PTACIN noted  that the  case  APOC v.  Stephens taught  that                                                             
ambiguity  cannot  be  held against  somebody  who  violates  the                                                               
statutes  - at  least in  a monetary  sense.   He clarified,  "If                                                               
there's ambiguity  in any of  these statutes,  the enforceability                                                               
of it  is diminished."   With respect to dampening  discourse, he                                                               
said that  is the debate  after Citizens  United.  That  case, he                                                             
said, allowed  a number of  entities that could not  speak before                                                               
do so now.   The question going forward is going  to be whether a                                                               
disclosure or disclaimer law will  overly burden that newly found                                                               
right.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  again questioned whether  the regulation  of rights                                                               
that  have been  restored  to persons  will  result in  impairing                                                               
disclosure for smaller groups.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PTACIN  said  the  real  question is  whether  there  is  an                                                               
election pending  with a bond  initiative, ballot  initiative, or                                                               
candidate   election   looming,    because   "that's   when   the                                                               
jurisdiction comes to fore."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS  asked, "If  BP runs  an ad,  who are  their largest                                                               
contributors?"                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PTACIN  said  BP  Alaska   would  be  permitted  to  run  an                                                               
advertisement with domestic  profits.  The money  would come from                                                               
its own corporate treasury; there  would not be any contributors.                                                               
In response  to a follow-up question,  he said whether or  not BP                                                               
would have to  follow the "top three contributors"  rule under SB
284 would  depend on  whether there are  other entities  that are                                                               
contributing to BP  in order to fund that messaging.   He offered                                                               
his understanding that the top  contributors would not have to be                                                               
listed if they did not exist.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR RAMRAS said  as a lay person  that is not how  he reads the                                                               
requirement; however, he acknowledged that  he sees others in the                                                               
room  nodding.    He  then  asked who  would  be  the  top  three                                                               
contributors to a union with 10,000 members.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PATACIN  reiterated his understanding  that if the  entity is                                                               
using general treasury  funds to advertise, then  there would not                                                               
be any  contributors to  that political  messaging.   However, if                                                               
the union  pooled money from  some other entity, then  that would                                                               
be another matter.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  RAMRAS   again  expressed   concern  over   ambiguity  and                                                               
expressed a wish to discuss the issue further.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
[CSSB 284(FIN) was held over.]                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 SB110 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
02 SB110 Sectional Analysis.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
03 CSSB 110(FIN) Version C.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
04 SB0110-4-1-031510-FIN-N.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
05 SB0110-5-1-031510-DPS-N.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
06 SB0110-6-2-031510-LAW-Y.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
07 SB110 Bill v. A.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
08 SB110 Articles.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 110
01 SB284 Sponsor Statement.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
02 SB284 Sectional 4.2.10.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
03 SB 284 Bill version P.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
04 SB284 DOA Fiscal Note.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
05 SB284 OOG Fiscal Note.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
06 SB284 AG analysis 2.19.10.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
07 SB284 Bullard memo 3.17.10.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
08 SB284 Relevant Statutes.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
09 SB284 Support.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
10 SB284 Articles.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM
SB 284
Proposed HJUD CS version M.pdf HJUD 4/7/2010 1:00:00 PM