If I’m gonna talk the talk, I better walk the walk, so I’m heading off to Olympia this morning to attend a couple hearings on performance audits. But if I see Senator Don Benton (R-Vancouver) coming my way, I’m keeping my hand on my wallet.
According to Peter Callaghan in the News Tribune, Sen. Benton is developing an online newsletter called todayinpolitics.com, which he hopes to hawk to Capitol lobbyists and other courtiers. The newsletter, which costs $565.00 a year, will compile links to newspaper articles written about government and politics. (Hey… great idea! It’s called Google.)
The Legislature pays crap, so seeking a little side income, Sen. Benton sent out an email recently soliciting subscriptions.
But among those receiving the come-on were lobbyists who represent clients in front of the Legislature, including committees that Benton serves on. Legislative ethics generally restrict lawmakers from soliciting business from lobbyists. That’s because you can never be sure if they buy because they want to or because they feel like they have to.
“What will it cost you NOT to subscribe?” Benton wrote. “That could be a princely sum indeed!”
Yikes. That’s an unfortunate choice of words.
The newsletter is scheduled to start February 1… just in time to include links to news stories concerning his inevitable ethics board hearing.