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Robert Wechsler
The Washington state Legislative Ethics Board has been discussing how many meals a state legislator should be able to accept from lobbyists and lobbyist-employers under the "infrequent" meals exception in the state ethics code. The exception allows legislators to accept food and beverage when their attendance is "related to the performance of official duties" on "infrequent occasions." The board has apparently never defined "infrequent."

It's About Perceptions
Robert Wechsler
The portrayal of lobbying state and, hopefully, a few local officials will soon be in the hands of Lawrence Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and, most recently, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

But the portrayal will not be in the form of a book. According to ...
Robert Wechsler
Good news and bad news about lobbying from New York City's new mayor. The good news, according to a recent article on the Capital New York website, is that the mayor has said that his administration will disclose "substantive" meetings that members of his administration conduct with lobbyists. This is, he says, a practice he followed when he was the...
Robert Wechsler
San Francisco's board of supervisors will soon vote on a number of amendments to its lobbying code (attached; see below). According to an article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, the amendments are based on recommendations by local good government groups, which have pointed out that loopholes in the current law allow many lobbyists...
Robert Wechsler
A local lobbying law is only as good as its enforcement, especially when local government leaders provide no leadership.

According to a column by Scott Cooper Williams in the Green Bay (WI) Press Gazette yesterday, Green Bay passed a lobbying registration law three years ago and, since that time, only seven lobbyists,...
Robert Wechsler
A must-read for lobbying reformers! A series of fascinating amendments that were made to New York City's lobbying law last December will take effect this month. There are some reforms here that I've never seen anywhere else, and they raise some issues that need to be more widely discussed.

The amendments, made in Local Law 129 (attached; see below), are based on recommendations made by a special reform task force, the...