So, who spent the most money lobbying state officials and legislators during the 1998 Legislature?

Some big business? Perhaps those concerned about electrical deregulation or hazardous waste - both issues with huge teams of lobbyists?Nope. It was the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, which will put on the 2002 Winter Games.

Much of the cash was spent in helping pay for Gov. Mike Leavitt's trip to Nagano, Japan, to be part of the 1998 Winter Games, lobbyist reports that were filed with the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office Tuesday show.

But Olympic pins for legislators were a big hit, too. Reports show SLOC officials passed out pins three times, coming back twice to meet the demand of lawmakers.

In total, SLOC spent $12,073 on state officials during the 45-day Legislature. Of that amount, $6,089 went for Leavitt's airfare, hotel, meals and other items, including a $572 "uniform" for the governor to wear during the Nagano games.

SLOC Chairman Bob Garff, a former House speaker, said he was surprised at the amount spent. But he said much of it went for "training and education" rather than lobbying, especially the money spent on the governor's Olympic trip.

"It's important that he get a flavor of what the Games are all about," Garff said of the governor. "I have no doubt that's a worthwhile expenditure."

Reports show $1,518 was spent on Olympic pins given to lawmakers. A number of legislators clearly asked for seconds or thirds as Olympic officials came back twice to pass them out. And a number of lawmakers proudly displayed the pins on the floors of the House and Senate.

In addition, House Speaker Mel Brown, House Minority Leader Dave Jones, Senate President Lane Beattie and Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell received Olympic denim shirts and pins worth $61 each, reports show.

Garff described the gifts of Olympic pins as a nominal expenditure. "It's a token of appreciation and trying to get everyone to buy into the Olympics," he said.

Olympic officials lobbied leaders hard not to pass a law which specifically requires that Olympic event tickets carry state and local sales tax. They lost that one; the bill passed.

From all lobbyists, more than $40,000 was spent on lawmakers during the 1998 session, the lobbyist reports show.

The reports were due at 5 p.m. Monday, but they only have to be postmarked by that date. A number of lobbyists have learned that media reporters look at the reports that come in on time, so they mail their reports. Reports for some of the better-known lobbyists hadn't arrived at the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office by Tuesday morning.

Again, Utah's lobbyist-reporting laws allowed most lobbyists to spend considerable sums - some more than $1,000 - on legislators and not list by name to whom they gave the money. Utah law only requires that any expenditure of more than $50 in one day be accompanied by the name of legislator who accepted the gift.

Many of the so-called freelance lobbyists - those who take on a variety of clients - have become adept at entertaining lawmakers for less than $50. In the latest reports, lobbyist Rob Jolley spent $798 taking a number of lawmakers to dinner. Yet no meal cost more than $47, so Jolley didn't have to list the lawmaker by name.

Last summer, Jolley traveled to Hawaii to entertain a handful of leading Utah legislators who were attending a national legislative convention. Jolley said he managed to take several legislators golfing and still didn't spend more than $50 in green fees at island courses, no small feat.

Some of the latest reports did carry legislators' names.

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Geneva Steel, which traditionally gives Jazz tickets to lawmakers, carried the names of 17 legislators who went to the professional basketball games. Geneva's tickets cost $57 each. Most of the legislators who went on Geneva's dime took two tickets.

The Utah Association of Health-Care Providers in one night spent $248 on Jazz tickets for Rep. Byron Holladay, R-West Jordan, and $124 on Jazz tickets for Rod Betit, state Health Department director.

The Deseret News gave lawmakers newspapers during the session at a cost of $2,128. Several years ago the Salt Lake Tribune stopped giving lawmakers its newspapers, but another lobbying group buys the Tribune and passes it out to lawmakers.

The report of the University of Utah lobbyist was not in. However, during the session, legislative leaders of both parties were treated to a special night at "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," starring Donnie Osmond, at the U.'s Kingsbury Hall. The main floor tickets cost more than $50 each, and the lawmakers attended a private reception with Osmond after the show.

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