Montana 24 Month Lobbyist Prohibition for Former Officials, Initiative 153 (2006)

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The Montana 24 Month Lobbyist Prohibition for Former Officials Initiative, also known as Montana Initiative No. 153 or I-153, was an initiated state statute that appeared on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Montana, where it was approved.[1]

Election results

C-44 (Lobbyist Prohibition for Former Officials)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 288,098 75.5%
No93,29124.5%

Official results via: The Montana Secretary of State

Impact

It proposed a law prohibiting former state legislators, appointed officials, department directors, elected officials and their personal staff from becoming licensed lobbyists within 24 months after departure from the state government.

Support

Supporters

The initiative was supported by Governor Brian Schweitzer, Reverend George Harper and State Representative Dave Wanzenreid. They argued that the initiative would help regulate the lobbying industry and keep the Montana government "clean," stating that the proposed law was "among the strongest lobbying reform measures in America." They argued that the ability for state officials to immediately become lobbyists "puts a 'for-sale' sign on public service and allows well-funded advocacy groups to buy access at the expense of the ordinary citizen," stating that Montanans "need to know that [their] public servants are working for us, not cutting deals for private industry with hopes of landing a job when they leave office."[2]

Donors

$93,582 was donated to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on I-153.

Donors of $10,000 and over were:

Donor Amount
Montana Democratic Party $82,254
Solidago Foundation $110,000
Citizen's Services $103,688

Opposition

The measure was opposed by Jon Metropoulos, State Representative Ron Devlin and Linda Stoll. They argued that the proposed law restricts the ability of Montanans to pick "the most effective advocate" to look out for their interests. They also argued that lobbyists are already well regulated in Montana, and that I-153 "does not deal with any problem that exists in Montana." They also claimed that no private organization employed as many lobbyists as the state government, concluding that the state government "understands the value of lobbyists, including those who are former legislators" and stating that it is unfair of the Montana government to take advantage of lobbyists while taking that advantage away from the citizens.[3]

No campaign donations or expenditures were reported by those in opposition.[4]

See also

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References