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S.D. Ethics Commission Proposes Lobbyist Registration Law

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Aired 4/19/09

Lobbyists are not pleased with new lobbying laws proposed by the city of San Diego’s Ethics Commission. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The Ethics Commission wants anyone paid as a lobbyist to register with the city -- if they make more than ten contacts with upper level city staff in 60 days.

Groups like the Building Industry Association and large companies like Qualcomm don’t like the idea of disclosing the names of the officials they speak with.

But Stacey Fullhorst, director of the city’s Ethics Commission, stands by the new rule.

Fullhorst : There’s been concern that by identifying city officials, it will have a chilling effect and people will not be willing to talk to lobbyists.  It’s the Commission’s view that if any high level officials at the city are concerned about their activities being disclosed to the public, then they ought to reconsider.

Fullhorst adds that labor unions and non-profits have to abide by the same rules as businesses -- if their lobbyists are paid. The council is expected to vote on the new rules this summer. If they approve them, they’ll go into effect next year. Alison St John, KPBS news.

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