Sunday, February 28, 2010
Hired help in Juneau
After this week, the Alaska Legislature will move into the last half of its 90-day session.
Time for all those Juneau lobbyists to earn their keep.
Which has me wondering: Who in Alaska's seafood industry needs a lobbyist?
Deckboss analyzed the new lobbyist directory from the Alaska Public Offices Commission and identified 20 businesses or nongovernmental organizations paying for lobbying services this year:
• Alaska Crab Coalition
• Alaska Scallop Association
• Alaska Seine Boat Owners Association
• Armstrong-Keta Inc.
• Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp.
• Douglas Island Pink & Chum Inc.
• F/V Pamela Rae Inc.
• Icicle Seafoods Inc.
• Icy Strait Seafoods Inc.
• Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC
• Pacific Seafood Processors Association
• Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp.
• Rozema Boat Works
• Sitka Herring Group
• Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association
• Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association
• United Fishermen of Alaska
• United Southeast Alaska Gillnetters
• Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association
You might notice the list includes several hatchery operators, who birth and partially raise a large percentage of Alaska's "wild" salmon.
One of them, in fact, the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp., is spending the most of anyone on the list — $48,000 split between two lobbyists, Kate Tesar and Ian Fisk.
The top fish lobbyist, judging by his tally of clients and fees, is Bob Thorstenson Jr. He represents seven of the listed organizations: the Alaska Crab Coalition; the Alaska Scallop Association; the Alaska Seine Boat Owners Association; Armstrong-Keta Inc., which runs a hatchery southeast of Sitka; Rozema Boat Works of Mount Vernon, Wash.; the Sitka Herring Group; and the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association.
Thorstenson, a commercial salmon seiner, reports he'll bag $95,500 in lobbying fees this year.