Groups Call For Lobbying Reform
Special Report - March 16, 2005
The North Carolina Family Policy Council joined a diverse group of legislators and public policy organizations this week to urge state lawmakers to reform North Carolina’s lobbying laws. The N.C. Coalition for Lobbying Reform, of which the Family Policy Council is a member, held a press conference on March 15 at the Legislative Building. Lawmakers, former lawmakers, and representatives from a wide range of non-profit organizations urged the General Assembly to “level the playing field” in Raleigh by enacting meaningful limits on the amount of money lobbyists can spend on legislators and executive branch officials, requiring full disclosure of the money lobbyists spend, and instituting a “cooling off” period before retiring or defeated lawmakers can start lobbying. John Rustin, North Carolina Family Policy Council’s director of government relations, testified at the press conference. “Our government is founded on the basic principle of elected representation, and when the public feels crowded out of the system by deep-pocket interests, fancy dinners and entertainment budgets, they can become frustrated and cynical.” Rustin said. He continued, “One way we can help to restore the public’s interest and the public’s trust is to restore a measure of integrity to the system. Limits on ‘wining and dining’ and more extensive lobbying disclosure laws can level the playing field and make the citizens feel they have a legitimate place at the table.” Bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate to reform lobbying in North Carolina.
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