Lobbyists want ''gift ban'' lifted

2:53 PM, Aug 6, 2009   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Some of the state's leading lobbyists are hoping the US Supreme Court will lift the state's "gift ban" law, banning state employees and elected officials from receiving gifts from lobbyists.

Powerhouse lobbyists Ron Book and Guy Spearman filed the petition along with the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. They said the "Gift Ban" violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. They also claim there's no correlation between such "gifts" and corruption.

"The petition focuses on the fact that the law applies to 'grassroots' lobbying and bans all gifts. Both of these features of the law are not necessary to prevent corruption and both unduly limit the right of citizens to communicate with their representatives," stated Ron Book in a written release.

Governor Charlie Crist supports the gift ban.

"I think the gift ban serves a useful purpose, our administration... you can't take any gifts from any lobbyists. I think that's appropriate, and we have a $25 limit as it relates to taking anything from anybody except a family member... I think it's the right thing to do to set an example," said Crist. 

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