Lobbyist bill is special interest legislation!

Posted: Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Our state Legislature recently introduced special interest legislation of the worst kind. HB-106 and SB-89 clearly favor lobbyists over Alaskans, and will enable politicians to accept campaign contributions from most of them, which is currently prohibited. This promotes special interest legislation for the highest bidder. Once again the majority of voters in Alaska will get a bad deal!

State law should not be relaxed, making it easier for lobbyists to influence our legislators. Every boondoggle that gets funded through the efforts of lobbyists, municipal representatives, or special interest groups takes limited resources away from essential government services. The public has a right to know the truth about everyone paying to obtain our legislators' favor. Alaska laws should protect the public's interest, not hide the trail of influence that rewards cooperation between lobbyists and politicians.

Our Legislature intentionally limited public debate to a minimum number of committee hearings. Few people outside of the government/lobbyist circle will have the opportunity to testify in opposition to this legislation. While this may be a clever maneuver on the part of legislators and lobbyists pushing this bill, it has not gone unnoticed by the public. The Web page www.akvoters.org/hotbuttonhb106sb89.htm has been established to track and permanently record legislative actions taken on this bill.

This is clearly bad legislation favoring a few privileged players in Juneau, at the expense of every Alaskan. Putting special interest groups and big campaign contributors before our citizens' best interests is bad public policy. The Legislature's focus must shift toward public needs, instead of special interest wants. Please contact your representatives and demand NO votes on HB-106 and SB-89!

James Price


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