This was in Monday’s AJC. It’s Rep. Stacey Reece’s response to an article which Brian from Ellijay posted here.
As a legislator, my workplace happens to be the Capitol, and my colleagues are lobbyists. I support some of the causes of these lobbyists — and some I always vote against. But nevertheless, many showed the same friendship to me that other people have received from workplace colleagues. Like so many other workplace colleagues in this world, they threw us a shower.
Because these friends happen to be lobbyists and I am a legislator, every gift — including the $15 can opener — must be disclosed. I insisted that each participant follow the law and even go beyond the law by making sure they took part in the shower only as individuals.
The AJC has called me to task for this shower because of their insinuation this will make me do what these lobbyists want. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a lobbyist who was quoted in yesterday’s AJC story comes from a firm that fought me tooth-and-nail last year as I helped lead the fight to ban smoking in public places in Georgia.
It is a matter of perspective. One can take the cynical view that every lobbyist is only out to buy and sell a legislator’s influence. Or, one can choose to see past the walls of cynicism that infect our politics and believe that people who work in politics can be friends with those they work around — even lobbyists — and get nothing more than shared joy from the occasion.
Read the entire column here.