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Representative Engler on Lobbyist Gifts: "The Perception Is You Owe Them. And In Reality, You May."

Speaking with earlier this week, Representative Kevin Engler was discussing the one million dollars lobbyists spend on gifts to legislators annually. He bluntly had this to say about the influence they have on lawmakers:

"When you start taking a lot of stuff from people, the perception is you owe them. And in reality, you may owe them. I don't like to put myself in that position."

Engler is right. Lobbyists aren't spending one million dollars a year on free meals, booze, sports tickets, and travel for legislators out of the goodness of their hearts. It is because they expect something in return and often get it. It is time to clean up Jefferson City with a serious ethics reform bill that includes a total lobbyist gift ban.