Ban on donations during sessions makes sense

Ban on donations during sessions makes sense

September 10, 2013 

It does not take a cynical or imaginative person to come up with a theory about why someone with an interest in legislation would make a campaign contribution to a lawmaker during a legislative session.

The Legislative Ethics Commission is proposing a change to Kentucky law to restrict such timely contributions.

It's a reasonable protection that the General Assembly should enact in the next session.

Under existing law, lobbyists are prohibited from contributing to the campaigns of the people they lobby. This makes obvious sense.

But the people or companies who hire the lobbyists to pass, stop or amend Kentucky laws are not under such restrictions.

This doesn't make much sense.

If the people paid to push legislation can't make contributions, why can the people who pay them?

The proposed legislation, keep in mind, would only affect contributions during regular sessions. It would not prohibit employers of lobbyists from supporting the candidates of their choice with a check outside of a session.

There is ample evidence that citizens are rapidly losing faith in our system. While the greatest wrath is reserved for the U.S. Congress, the general disaffection extends to Frankfort.

The General Assembly could take one small step toward reassuring Kentucky voters by passing this measure.

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