Monday, March 21, 2005

Of Cockroaches and Orange Badges

Antone who has spent time in the subtropical latitudes of Louisiana or Florida has at some point experienced the joys of flicking on a light and seeing our friend the cockroach scurry out of harm's way. It isn't pleasant, but at some level you are glad you at least know the nasty suckers are there.

Not to compare Concord's orange-badged lobbyist corps to cockroaches, but the same dynamic applies in the legislative process. It's probably impossible to completely eradicate the problem of special interest influence, but to the degree that we can shine some light on the process, there is at least some hope of managing the situation.

The House Election Law Committee is still pondering HB 621. HB 621 would require lobbyists to dosclose any gifts or campaign contributions they make to political candidates, while simultaneously requiring the candidates to provide an itemized listing of these donations. As you might have figured out, the double-disclosure requirement forces lobbyists and candidates to hold each other accountable.

If you'd like to move this bill along towards passage, shoot an e-mail to these folks:

Rep. Mike Whalley, Chairman, House Election Law Committee:
michael.whalley@leg.state.nh.us

Rep. Richard Drisko, Committee vice chairman:
driskorb@aol.com

Rep. Jim Splaine, Ranking Democrat:
jimsplaine@aol.com