Lawmaker defends bill to allow lobbyists' gifts again

Posted April 9, 2013
Updated April 12, 2013

— A veteran Republican House lawmaker has filed a proposal to allow lobbyists to once again give unreported gifts to state lawmakers in North Carolina.

House Bill 640, filed by Rep. Robert Brawley, R-Iredell, would roll back many of the ethics reforms passed by state lawmakers in the wake of the House Speaker Jim Black scandal of 2006. 

The measure would repeal bans on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers and relax requirements that lobbyists disclose such gifts.

Brawley returned to the state legislature in 2013 after having served from 1981 till his retirement in 1998 – well before the current gift bans were enacted. He's currently a member of House leadership, serving as chairman of the Finance Committee, an influential post that would almost certainly attract lobbyists' interest. 

Brawley said via email that required ethics classes on gifts and disclosure requirements "are useless for anyone without internal ethics anyway."

"They only tell you the law. They do not guarantee integrity," he said. "What makes you think a person without ethics is going to obey a law anyway?"

Money Lawmaker says lobbying rules useless

Brawley also said in his message that the gift ban and other ethics laws pertaining to lawmakers and lobbyists "are an impediment to meeting and exchanging ideas and information." 

"Yes, that often takes place over dinner, but there is more influence in who is nice to each other than there is in the exchange of money," he wrote. 

"Those who feel left out because their threats and intimidation did not help them might learn from the old adage about honey," he added.

"I believe in the integrity of people, including legislators and, in over 30 years of serious involvement, have not seen any situation that these laws would have prevented or improved," Brawley said.


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  • souljp1 Apr 11, 2013

    come on let's hear it... IT'S Obama Fault , right?

  • Bob3425 Apr 11, 2013

    Lobbyist should not be able to buy votes and call it gifts. I agree recall this guy, he looking after himself.

  • wileymorris Apr 10, 2013

    Is this Putin's long lost brother or what?

  • Terkel Apr 10, 2013

    Repubs should have taken a look at the Dem playbook: get a black guy to propose outrageous stuff like taxing IRAs and forcing his subjects to buy a product from a private company. That way, "we all know" that it's a great idea, hated only because of "racism".

  • NYHC Apr 10, 2013

    By his logic, why have laws against murder? After all, you'll only follow them if you have a good moral compass...

  • Spock Apr 10, 2013

    This guy should be recalled!

  • rednek Apr 10, 2013

    We already have the best government that money can buy, bought and paid for by big business. Now the elected crooks want to be able to take all they can get from whomever is willing to pay for their work in their favor. The public is ignored in favor of the lobbyists. IMHO they shoud be ILLEGAL, but seeing what the Government has been doing about the illegals from South of the border, I guess they are getting the same treatment.

    How can we get back to Government of The People, For The People, By The People; or is that a hopeless wish?

  • wral mods blow close my account Apr 10, 2013

    Brawley said via email that required ethics classes on gifts and disclosure requirements "are useless for anyone without internal ethics anyway."

    I think Brawley means himself. Gotta be proud NC GOP.

  • sisu Apr 10, 2013

    Has "APRIL FOOLS" been expanded from one day to the whole month?...Who votes for these people?
    April 10, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    It totally makes me think of the movie, "Groundhog Day" every time I turn on my computer. Except, as you say, it's April Fools day every day.

    This goes beyond the pale. If they pass this, then they ought to let teachers make a little cash selling grades.

    The GOP is humiliating our great state. I can't even defend my state against the onslaught of ridicule anymore. They're right. It's shameful.

    Yes, it's still a beautiful state. Yes, there are some of the best and brightest here but it certainly isn't looking good for retaining them. Sigh.

  • razor2 Apr 10, 2013

    You see this kind of stuff is what I was talking about earlier
    to folks like lessismore have you noticed the ones allways spouting about how great the gop is and how all these people are getting assistance well.... its so quite you can hear a pin drop now...