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BEST NEW LAW Miami 2003 - Miami Beachs ordinance restricting campaign contributions by lobbyists

The revolution may or may not be televised but it certainly will be litigated. The revolt here is aimed at decreasing the power of money over candidates and the civic process generally. Last year Miami Beach commissioners passed an ordinance to require lobbyists working the city to disclose their fees. They and their clients make money from the public so shouldn't the public know how much is going to lobbyists? Maybe if we knew how much a company with a city contract pays its lobbyists, we wouldn't pay the company so darn much. Lobbyist Rodney Barreto sees it differently and has challenged it in court. That was a good law but an even better one bans the mayor and city commissioners from accepting campaign contributions from a distinctive group of people: Miami Beach lobbyists who represent real estate developers or companies that sell things to the city, or are trying to. Under the law, the developers and vendors themselves also are forbidden from contributing to campaign accounts. Cool, huh? Let's hope it stands up under further review by the city commission.

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