Today’s vote by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics to adopt New York State’s first comprehensive lobbying regulations marks an important step in the Commission’s efforts to ensure public transparency regarding who spends money to influence government, and where and how lobbyists and their clients spend that money.
To that end, there are three important take-aways from the lobbying regulations, each of which sheds light on the influence of money in government decision-making:
- First, the “true” clients -- the real parties seeking to influence government – must be identified and follow the source of funding reporting rules;
- Second, the public will see broader and more specific information on lobbying activities, as well as the targets of lobbyists and their clients; and,
- Third, the public will see when and how grassroots lobbying, including paid lobbying through social media, occurs and who is paying for it.
I want to thank JCOPE’s thoughtful staff for their hard work on these regulations, as well as the regulated community and the public for their input. I would also like to thank my fellow Commissioners for their continued engagement and support in seeing that the Commission serves the public to the best of its ability.