APOC Reduces Lobbying Fine for Coffey

coffey07The Alaska Public Offices Commission has approved a consent agreement worked out by its staff and former Anchorage Assembly member Dan Coffey.

APOC staff say former Anchorage Assembly member Dan Coffey failed to register as a lobbyist for the Municipality of Anchorage and then made illegal campaign contributions to legislative candidates outside his own district. The commission held a hearing Wednesday to discuss the consent agreement. Commission member Joan Mize explains what he did wrong.

“Mr. Coffey basically held himself out to be a lobbyist and did not register as a lobbyist. And the public has the right to know who’s influencing legislation and Mr. Coffey lobbied for the Municipality of Anchorage, for the Port of Anchorage Project and received actual funds for that project which he was lobbying for.”

Under the agreement, Coffey admits he violated the law and the staff recommends a reduction of the maximum possible fine from $36,500 to nearly $12,000. Coffey says he thought he didn’t have to be registered if he limited his hours of lobbying activities. Coffey’s job was to try to get the Legislature to pay for the cost over-runs at the Port of Anchorage. Coffey has 30 days to pay the fines or to appeal. Coffey and Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan were contacted for this story but did not return calls by deadline.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.