This article originally provided by
September 23, 2005
Lobbyists spend nearly $70,000, reports disclose
By Lawrence Messina
The Associated Press
Lobbyists have reported spending nearly $70,000 on legislators and other
government officials under the new ethics law that took effect in July, reports
filed with the state Ethics Commission show.
The bulk of the spending, more than $45,000, paid for two receptions for
lawmakers and other VIPs during the Legislatureís interim meetings in Morgantown
The reports also show that three lobbying groups ó the broadcasters, coal,
and truck and auto dealers associations ó each paid the room tab for Gov. Joe
Manchin and the first lady at The Greenbrier. The governor was a guest speaker
at the groupsí respective annual meetings during the filing period. The
world-class Greenbrier County resort proved a popular place for other lobbyists
as well, the reports show.
But the reports, which were due Sept. 15, do not reflect the special
legislative session that wrapped up last week. Spending during the seven-day
session will show up on reports in January.
Among other measures, the law enacted this year requires spending reports
from lobbyists every four months. Reports were previously due 30 days after a
sessionís end. It also requires them to disclose all spending; previously, they
only had to report an expense that exceeded $25.
The new law also demands more details about how the money was spent, and on
whom. Nursing-home lobbyist Raymona Kinneberg, for instance, reported $69.44 in
expenses but declined to say how she spent the money because they occurred
before July 1.
Lobbyist Mike Garrison reported spending the most during the filing period,
$8,061. The Morgantown lawyer and former chief of staff to then-Gov. Bob Wise
helped cover both of the Morgantown receptions during August interims.
Garrison represents 18 clients at the Legislature, the most among the stateís
361 registered lobbyists. His clients include drug maker Mylan Laboratories,
political operatives RMS Strategies and Morgantown-based Platinum Properties,
all co-sponsors of the interim receptions.
ďItís important to note that the interims took place during this period and
thatís the real reason behind the spending,Ē Garrison said.
Nine reports totaling $136.57 reflected spending below $25, which would not
have been reported before this yearís law. They mostly covered meals and drinks
Among other report highlights:
Mike Clowser, executive director of the state contractors association,
reported spending $3,300 to lodge Transportation Secretary Danny Ellis and
Highways Commissioner Paul Mattox at The Greenbrier for his groupís annual
meeting in mid-July.
Gambling lobbyists Nelson Robinson and John Cavacini together spent nearly
$1,000 to help co-host a hospitality suite and a dinner for lawmakers, state
officials and their spouses during the Southern Legislative Conference annual
meeting in Mobile, Ala.
Lobbyist Larry Swann reported spending $4,331 on lodging for legislative
leaders, including House Speaker Bob Kiss, D-Raleigh, and Senate President Earl
Ray Tomblin, D-Logan, who spoke at the West Virginia Beverage Associationís
annual meeting at The Greenbrier.