Liquor industry objections to interlock are disingenuous

March 03, 2010

Regarding the article "Ignition locks are debated" (Feb. 26), I found it humorous that a lobbyist for the liquor industry wants us to believe that their concern is that the proposed bill would undercut "the bedrock of our judicial process" if enacted. I wonder how often the lobbyist's client, Reliable Churchill, has expressed the same astute philosophical concern in non-liquor related legislation. I would offer that their only concern is the effect on liquor sales and perhaps legal ramifications of the proposed bill.

I do offer a solution to disclose the intentions of lobbyists. They often do business over lunches or clandestine meetings. We should limit their contact only to testimony in open session, when their identities and those of their clients are publicly disclosed. This way we know who is trying to influence our elected officials and why. All other contact by registered lobbyists, whether private or non-profit, should be strictly controlled. Our elected officials should disclose to their constituents all lobbyists or parties that contact them regarding any pending legislation.

There are so many concerns, and rightly so, concerning the ethics of our elected officials, and to a greater degree, the lobbyists operating in the background of the process. This would add another layer of transparency.

If this were in force for this legislation, then the public could determine if the true motive of Reliable Churchill is their concern for the judicial process or the effect that the proposed legislation would have on the local liquor industry.

Peter M. Rock

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