ADVISORY OPINION 2007-2
A registered lobbyist learns that two of its employees have solicited contributions for candidates running for City offices, including seats on the New York City Council and for State office. The candidates running for office are City employees and City Council members. One of the employees is employed in the lobbying division of the lobbyist but does not engage in lobbying while the other employee works outside the lobbying division.
Does the registered lobbyist have to file a fundraising and political consulting report and report the fundraising activities of its employees?
Any lobbyist required to file a statement of registration who engages in fundraising activities in the calendar year to which the statement of registration relates, or in the six months preceding such calendar year, must also file with the City Clerk a fundraising report. See Administrative Code §3-216.1(a). "Fundraising activities" means the "solicitation or collection of contributions for a candidate for nomination for election, or election, to the office of mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president or member of the city council, or for the political committee of any such candidate by a lobbyist, or the solicitation or collection of contributions for any public servant who is a candidate for nomination for election, or election, to any elective office…by a lobbyist." Administrative Code §3-211(h). The activities described are clearly "fundraising activities" if the employees are "lobbyists." Administrative Code §3-211(h) provides that when the lobbyist is an organization, the term "lobbyist" means that division of the organization that engages in lobbying activities and any employee of such lobbyist who engages in lobbying activities or who is employed in the division that engages in lobbying activities. Administrative Code §3-211(h). Therefore, pursuant to this definition, only the employee who is registered in the lobbying division is included in the term "lobbyist." Consequently, the registered lobbyist has to file a fundraising report and report the fundraising activities of its employee working in the lobbying division.
The lobbyist must report the fundraising activities of the employee working in its lobbying division because that employee is covered by the term "lobbyist." Conversely, the lobbyist need not report the fundraising activities of the employee who is not employed in the organization's lobbying division, as long as he or she is not otherwise engaged in lobbying.