NEW YORK
TEMPORARY STATE COMMISSION
ON LOBBYING

OPINION NO. 37 (83-1)

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FACTS

We are asked for an opinion with respect to employees of a corporation, who engage in lobbying on behalf of the corporation. We are informed that their lobbying expenditures do not exceed, nor are they reasonably expected to exceed, the $2000 threshold as provided by Section 5(a) of the current Lobbying Act. (Chapter 1040, Laws of 1981.)

The principal employee lobbyist of the corporation is registered with our Commission. This opinion is requested with respect to the other non-registered employees of the same corporation and whether or not they are required to register under the Lobbying Act.

ISSUE

Assuming that the non-registered employees who lobby for the corporation do not meet the monetary threshold, is it necessary that the identity, expenditures, and activities of such employees be publicly and regularly disclosed in the Statement of Registration and Periodic Reports of the principal designated lobbyist?

OPINION

Section 1 of the Lobbying Act reads as follows:

"The legislature hereby declares that the operation of responsible democratic government requires that the fullest opportunity be afforded to the people to petition their government for the redress of grievances and to express freely to appropriate officials their opinions on legislation and governmental operations; and that, to preserve and maintain the integrity of the governmental decision-making process in this state, it is necessary that the identity, expenditures, and activities of persons and organizations retained, employed, or designated to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by either house of the legislature or the approval, or veto, of any legislation by the governor and attempts to influence the adoption or rejection of any rule or regulation having the force and effect of law or the outcome of any rate-making proceeding by a state agency, be publicly and regularly disclosed.." (Emphasis added.)

Consonant with the legislative intent of the Act, Section VII(A)3 of the Commission's Guidelines specifically provides, in the case of an organization with more than one employee lobbying on its behalf, that the organization may name one employee as its principal lobbyist. However, the Guidelines say such employee "shall register as the principal lobbyist for that organization and shall report in the Statement of Registration filed with the Commission the name of each employee who will be engaged in lobbying." (Emphasis added.) A similar provision is contained in Section VII (C)(5) of the Guidelines, relating to periodic reports. There is no prerequisite that the additional employees individually meet the monetary threshold.

In the instant case, the principal lobbyist of the corporation is a corporate employee. Hence, although other lobbying employees of the corporation may or may not individually reach the monetary threshold, they are, nevertheless, agents of the corporation engaged in lobbying on behalf of that corporation and consequently must be listed in the Statements of Registration of the principal lobbyist, and in all Periodic Reports filed with this Commission.


APPROVED BY COMMISSION: OCTOBER 5, 1983

CONCURRING: HARVEY M. LIFSET, CHAIRMAN; RICHARD A. BERNSTEIN, VICE CHAIRMAN; S. STANLEY KREUTZER, GAIL HELLENBRAND, ARTHUR A. LORENZO, AND NATHANIEL T. HELMAN.

/S/
________________________________________

HARVEY M. LIFSET
Chairman


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