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Seattle Comptroller/Clerk Files Index

Information retrieved on October 18, 2019 10:55 AM

Clerk File Number: 309600

Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission Lobbying Rules

Status: Filed
Date of Full Council action:

Date Filed with the City Clerk: September 17, 2008

Date introduced/referred to committee:
Committee Recommendation:
Date of Committee Recommendation:
Committee Vote:


Electronic Copy: PDF scan of CF 309600


Rule 1 Filing Reports

A. Electronic Filing. Filers, using web-browsing software, will enter the Lobbyist eFiling site by opening the following web page: Users will then log in to the application using the user name and password provided to them by Commission staff. The filer will then follow the instructions for filing reports.

B. Passwords. The Commission will assign each individual filer a password which may be used by the filer to gain access to the application. The application provides filers with the ability to change the password at any time. An individual to whom the Commission assigns a password is responsible for all filings made using that password or any succeeding password established using the initially assigned password.

C. Reports due on Saturday, Sunday or a postal holiday must be filed by midnight the following business day. An electronic file will be considered filed on the date the Commission's server software records receipt of such a file.

Rule 2 Reports by Lobbyists' Employers

A. The requirement in SMC 2.06.020.A.3 that a lobbyist's employer must provide written authorization confirming the lobbyist's employment can be satisfied by (A) an e-mail to, (B) a letter sent by fax to the Commission at (206) 684-8590, or (C) a letter sent by mail to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission at P.O. Box 94729, Seattle, WA 98124-4729.

B. The option in SMC 2.06.040.A.1 for a lobbyist's employer to verify the accuracy of the annual report filed by the lobbyist, in lieu of the employer filing a separate report with the Commission, can be satisfied by the employer's submission of a copy of the lobbyist's report signed by the employer and (A) sent by e-mail to, (B) sent by fax to the Commission at (206) 684-8590, or (C) sent by mail to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission at P.O. Box 94729, Seattle, WA 98124-4729.

Rule 3 Exceeding the Casual Lobbying Threshold

A. The commission recognizes that a lobbyist who reasonably expects to qualify for the exemption from registration and reporting which is provided for those who limit their lobbying to four days or parts thereof in a calendar quarter may thereafter become ineligible for that exemption, thus violating SMC 2.06.020 and SMC 2.06.110.A by not having registered within the prescribed time period.

B. The Commission shall not initiate enforcement proceedings against a lobbyist or his or her employer in circumstances described in subsection (A) of this section if the lobbyist:

1. Registers pursuant to SMC 2.06.020 before doing any lobbying in excess of the exemption limitations in SMC 2.06.020.A.2; and

2. Files a report when next due under SMC 2.06.030, which report includes all reportable information for the lobbying activities cumulatively causing the exemption limitations to be reached.

Rule 4 Compensation for lobbying

A. A person shall be deemed to be compensated for lobbying when they receive compensation from another person in whole or in part for lobbying. When a person receives a regular salary from an employer, and engages in lobbying in the course of his or her employment, the person shall report that portion of their regular salary that is attributable to their lobbying activities on behalf of that employer. An hourly employee must report that portion of his or her pay that is attributable to lobbying activities on behalf of their employer.

B. A person is lobbying in the course of his or her employment when he or she exceeds the casual lobbying threshold and:

1. Serves as an officer or director of his or her employer;

2. Serves in a policymaking or communications role with his or her employer; or

3. Whose scope of work for that employer includes lobbying, as that term is defined at SMC 2.06.010.J.

Rule 5 Enforcement Discretion

A. The Executive Director shall not commence enforcement proceedings against a lobbyist or his or her employer if:

1. The lobbyist's total compensation for lobbying activities does not exceed $100 in a calendar quarter; and

2. The lobbyist registers and reports within five business days of the Executive Director's request that he or she do so.

Rule 6 Exemption for lobbyists employed by other governments

A person shall be deemed to be "specifically employed or retained by a government agency to lobby," and ineligible for the exemption at SMC 2.06.060.A.4, when he or she spends in excess of 20 percent of his or her time working for the agency, in a calendar quarter, either engaged in lobbying or engaged in preparation and planning activities, or research and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in connection with lobbying. For the purposes of determining eligibility for this exemption, employees and contractors must include their time spent on lobbying activities related to lobbying federal, state or local officials.

Rule 7 Basic Registration Form

Rule 8 Lobbyist Registration Form Bottom of Lobbyist Registration Form

Rule 9 Quarterly Expenditure Report

Rule 10 Optional Lobbyist Employer Annual Reporting Form

Rule 10 will be promulgated before January 15, 2009.

These Rules were adopted by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission at the meeting on September 3, 2008, and will be effective on the date they are filed with the City Clerk. The Commission members voting to take this action were:

Michele Radosevich, Chair

Robert Mahon, Vice Chair

Tarik Burney

Edward C. Carr

Lynne Iglitzin

Mel Kang

Nancy Miller



I, WAYNE BARNETT, Executive Director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, State of Washington, do hereby certify that this is a true and correct copy of the Lobbying Rules, implementing SMC 2.06, as adopted on September 3, 2008.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 17th day of September, 2008.


WAYNE BARNETT, Executive Director

Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission

Lobbying Rules