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Stopping the Revolving Door from Lawmaker to Lobbyist in Oregon

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 By Dondrea Warner/Chris Thomas, Contact
March 9, 2007

The Oregon House has voted to stop the so-called "revolving door" and prevent legislators from immediately becoming lobbyists when their terms end. Representative Diane Rosenbaum says the bill draws a clear line.

"It's extremely important to restore integrity to the Oregon legislature that we make a clear statement to our constituents that we are here to do the people's business, and that is of paramount importance."

Some opponents of the bill argue that it's not necessary. The bill now heads to the Senate. Oregon already has similar limitations in place for some top level public officials.

Leah Rush with the Center for Public Integrity believes these "cooling down" periods are a way to demonstrate to voters that there's a clear separation between being a legislator and being a lobbyist.

"[The purpose is] to provide some sort of comfort zone for the public that legislators aren't using their public office to turn around and make money."

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