Friday, September 24, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Report: ND Lobbying Law Could Be Model for Congress

Play

Wednesday, July 24, 2019   

BISMARCK, N.D. - When members of Congress leave office, an industry lobbying role often is in their future. A new report says states such as North Dakota could provide a model to help the federal government slow this revolving door.

The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen applauded North Dakota and two other states for their strong restrictions on lobbying after lawmakers leave office. Report co-author Craig Holman, Public Citizen's government-affairs lobbyist, said the ethics measure passed by voters in November prohibits former officials from influencing public policy during a two-year "cooling off" period.

"And it not only has a longer cooling-off period," he said, "it also just prohibits - during that two-year cooling-off period - former elected officials from doing any kind of lobbying activity."

Holman said this kind of reform would close a loophole that allows former lawmakers to become lobbyists so long as they avoid directly lobbying to people in office. This year, Public Citizen found nearly two-thirds of former members of Congress have gone on to work for groups that seek to influence federal policies, including lobbying firms, consulting firms, trade groups and business groups.

Holman called the pipeline of former lawmakers into lobbying jobs "one of the most pernicious influence-peddling schemes available to wealthy special interests," adding that a lucrative job after leaving office has the potential to corrupt politicians.

"If he or she curries favor with that special employer, special interest," he said, "it's hard to make sure that the officeholder is acting on behalf of the public interest, rather than his or her own interest."

While the U.S. Senate has a two-year cooling-off period for for lobbying activities, it remains only one year for the House. Holman said the minimum should be at least two years, because that's the length of a legislative session and it takes at least that long for old staff contacts to turn over. Florida lawmakers recently passed a six-year cooling-off period - the longest to date.

The report is online at citizen.org.


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021