City Councilors Jay Harney, Emily Norton and Jim Cote are proposing new rules requiring lobbyists to register with the city before communicating with any elected or appointed officials, The TAB’s Jonathan Dame reports.
The proposed draft ordinance allows for all sorts of exemptions, including local, state and federal officials, residents, non-profits, etc. Anybody not on that list would pay a $100 fee and have to report on the items they’re lobbying for.
My question for Councilors Harney, Norton, Cote and anyone else with experience or knowledge about this is: Why? Are there specific examples where you felt paid lobbyists sought to buy your votes? Are there outside groups out there showering you, the mayor or department heads with gifts, donations or lunches? Or are we mostly adding another task and process to of City Clerks office? And if it is a problem, why all the exemptions?
And to be clear, I’m not saying this is or is not a problem. I honestly don’t know the answer. Specific examples from past encounters will be helpful.