First off, how is it possible that Sen Stephenson could be a lobbyist and a legislator at the same time? It should be like playing for BYU and Utah at the same time. However, the legislature has proven once again that they are controlled by the lobbyists, not the people.
Stephenson comes in and says that it's the media that wants to ban gifts to the legislators, even quoting, or misquoting, LDS President Gordon B Hinckley.
Actually, Sen Stephenson, the people want the gifts banned. Remember the people?
An early January poll for the Deseret Morning News and KSL-TV by Dan Jones & Associates found that 68 percent of Utahns want more disclosure of lobbyists' gifts to lawmakers — the main goals of both SB102 and HB101 — while 76 percent of Utahns want lobbyist gifts to lawmakers banned all together. (DNews)
I pesonally dislike gifts, but understand that they are a way of life. However, I think that all gifts should be disclosed. I hereby endorse Ethan's diea:
All gifts of any value including meals must be reported BY THE LEGISLATOR within 24 hours of receipt.
The report must include:
Name of Legislator
Name of Lobbyist
ALL clients of the lobbyist
Description of gift and its value (including meals)
All legislation that intersects with any of the lobbyist clients.
The Government must post the report to the Internet by the end of the following business day after receiving the report from the Legislator.
I'd like to make an amendment; there should be penalties as follows:
~1st offense: warning
~2nd offense: $10 fine
~3rd offense: $50 fine
~4th offense: $50 + the value of the gift.
~Offenses 5-7 double in value from the previous offense.
~8th Offense: REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Why are our legislators so affraid of us finding out who they went to dinner and a Jazz game with?