Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith rolled out a seven-point ethics proposal on the steps of the Statehouse Thursday, that would mitigate undue influence on lawmakers.
“Too often in the building behind us, the special interest prevails over the broader public interest,” Galbraith said. “Even a single wealthy or well-connected individual hiring a lobbyist can turn around the course of legislation.”
Asked later if there should be no influence from lobbyists over the legislative process, Galbraith acknowledged that “everybody should be heard, but lobbyists are heard over and over and over again.”
Galbraith’s first proposal — to ban corporate contributions to candidates — is not new to the discussion on how best to properly police politicians. All three Democrats in the primary — Galbraith, Matt Dunne and Sue Minter — have voluntarily pledged to reject corporate money this primary season.
Four of Galbraith’s other proposed reforms aim to curb the amount of power lobbyists hold in drafting legislation. The Townshend Democrat is hoping to prohibit participation by special interests in the markup hearings, when bills are debated and amended. This would be accomplished by separating official committee hearings — which allow lobbyists to testify on behalf of their clients — and the markup process, where actual draft language is debated.
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