Should Michigan lawmakers be forced into buying their own meals and sports tickets?
January 23, 2008
Every voter in the state of Michigan should take a shot at this one:
- Call their state legislators--a state representative and a state senator--and ask them to take a pledge to pay for their own meals and not let a lobbyist take the check.
- Also ask them that they buy their own sporting event and concert tickets instead of letting a lobbyist do that.
Because of their term-limited status, Michigan's state legislators learn to listen real good to lobbyists even before they are sworn in. And, this continues after the oath is taken when lobbyists regularly buy lunch and supper and all kinds of tickets for their legislative prey.
Now keep in mind lobbyists don't give lawmakers a gift card to a favorite restaurant and say, "hey, take the wife out." They take the lawmaker who is held hostage at a restaurant table being in a position to do nothing but listen.
Check out this column from the Indy Star's Matthew Tully who also proposes that lawmakers disclose conversations with lobbyists. If you talk to a lobbyist, disclose it on your taxpayer-funded website. There's nothing wrong with talking a special interest, he points out, but be open about it.
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