(June 12, 2007) -- 5th district Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, first among her Council colleagues to create and maintain an ongoing non-taxpayer maintained internet journal (blog), has become first to use that communication medium to provide her constituents and LB taxpayers citywide with on-demand access to a list of persons with whom she's met during the week.
On her internet journal/blog, Councilwoman Schipske writes, "I campaigned on a concept called: TINCUP — Time Is Now To Clean Up Politics — and one of the keystones of this proposal was to require city council members to place on the agenda information under each agenda item as to whether or they had received any campaign contributions from anyone supporting or opposing the item. This would eliminate the need for voters to have to research campaign reports." She continues:
Lobbying is not bad. Lobbyists are not bad people. Organizations and businesses have the right to hire people to make their case with elected officials. The reason for the proposed measure being discussed by Council is to make government as transparent as possible by requiring those who receive compensation to lobby us to disclose that in a public report.
As I have blogged before on this issue -- I also believe that the City Council should make it a policy to not accept any gift from a lobbyist –even though current state and local law allows up to $360 in gifts from one source. (At the risk of being redundant and repeat what I said in committee and in past blogs: “these people aren’t buying councilmembers gifts because they like them….”)
Councilmember Schipske concludes: "So, in the interest of “fair play” I will begin posting whom I have met with during the week so the public can know whom I have contacts with"...and proceeds to list them. To view Councilwoman Schipske's entire blog entry on this topic, click here.
The move comes as the City Council considers adopting an ordinance proposed by Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal that would require those it defines as "lobbyists" to register with the City Clerk and file periodic disclosure forms listing their contacts with Councilmembers.