Once again the subject rears its ugly head.

Once again city officials are complaining they can’t even accept a bottle of water.

Once again, they’re complaining that they’re locked out of lobbying other cities and elected officials.

Well it’s just too damned bad.  In some respects, that is.

The zero tolerance for gifts is just too much, and that includes county officials as well.

Employees are limited to $25, so why not elected officials?

All the code needs is a change requiring elected officials to file a disclosure form stating how much, who and where.

For every gift, lunch, bottle of water, or anything else.

Believe me, identifiable patterns will develop as to who’s influencing whom.  Or trying to.

And if you think the no gifts policy will stop lobbyists from trying to influence a vote, you’re probably living under a rock.

As far as lobbying others, if the combination of their official salaries and their general income isn’t enough, then maybe the official should be considering other options, up to and including not holding public office.

Lobbying is more about influence than income.

Yes, some have made second careers out of it, some friends, too, but the game is out of control.

As an elected official, that salary was my only real source of income (just about 60% of what I was earning prior.)

I never took an outside job from a lobbyist or anybody else (and yes, I could have used the extra income.) 

I never lobbied anybody for a single dime.  (Oh, I lobbied on issues for sure, but unpaid.)

As I said, lobbying is about influence, not money.  Or it should be.

There’s absolutely no reason why elected officials shouldn’t be able to lobby for issues they believe in.  (Believe in, not paid to believe in.)

To local government there are three “gets.”

Get off your high horse, get on with the business of government, or get out.

(Oh, and by the way, my new campaign slogan “Get off, Get on, or Get out” is available for a “nominal” fee…)