Letters to the Editor
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Response to LA Times article "Lobbyists Prepare to Fight Proposals"

July 18th

On July 16, 2003 in an LA Times article entitled, "Lobbyists Prepare to Fight Proposals," the implication seems to be made by a newly formed and emboldened association of LA City Hall lobbyists that there is another side to ethics.

Just a week before, the Times reported that the two year effort by the City Ethics Commission, a carefully-crafted lobbyist reform package was successfully scuttled by Council President Alex Padilla on a technical vote, even though it had been passed in January and had come back only for a revote in its form as an ordinance.

The measure was a simple one. It merely required that elected officials abstain from votes on those issues lobbied for by lobbyists doubling as their campaign fundraisers or their political consultants. From an ethics standpoint, how can there be two sides to erecting an airtight barrier between City Hall decision-making and campaign activities by lobbyists that breed such unique familiarity and special access for them?

The irony is that same day Assembly member Dario Frommer introduced a similar bill in the Assembly, noting (according to the Times), "I think it's unethical for political consultants to cash in on their legislative clients by lobbying those clients."

The City Council, including its newest members, should make bringing this measure back and make passing it quickly a top priority, or face a further deterioration in the confidence of the people, something this troubled City can hardly afford.

Kim Thompson
Granada Hills