Mayor says Reporters Must Register as Lobbyists

Of course, we are proud that another Florida politician is in the news–this time a mayor who has come up with the nonsense notion that journalists are lobbyists because they supply information that leads to editorials that influence public policy.

Response from journalist (posted in Sun-Sentinel)

From: Wallman, Brittany []
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 6:37 PM
To: Richard Kaplan
Cc: mcc; Earl Hall; Andrea Anderson; Coffey, Joni Armstrong; Banker, Dana
Subject: RE: County New Ethics Law

Well of course that is ludicrous and probably purposefully so.
Reporters are not lobbyists and I would urge you to read the definition in the law. We are not “retained” or “employed” “principally to lobby” on behalf of another “person or entity,” (quoting from the ordinance definition of lobbyist).
At any rate, if it’s of concern to you, record your contact with reporters in the newly required contact log your city must keep.
I certainly won’t be filling out any paperwork in Lauderhill.
If the inspector general wants to prosecute the ethics code on this point he will be prosecuting you, not me. 🙂 Also, the new code doesn’t kick in until Jan. 2.
p.s. copying the county attorney
p.p.s. I look forward to talking to you again when you get this cleared up

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