Jacobs Calls for Tough Regulations on Lobbying by Text Message
January 11, 2013 | WMFE- Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is proposing tough new rules to govern lobbying and texting. Jacobs says the policy needs updating after an uproar last year over lobbyists texting county commissioners during public hearings.
The controversy arose after County commissioners rejected a ballot measure that would have put paid sick time to a vote last November.
Activists complained lobbyists with business ties were texting the commissioners during the hearing.
Mayor Jacobs says she wants a total ban on lobbying via text or voice mail.
"I just don’t think that that’s the way lobbyists should communicate," says Jacobs.
"I think they need to come into the office, set up a meeting and do it the way they’ve always done it and not by texting. It’s just too difficult to track and it’s totally contrary to the spirit of transparency," she says.
Jacobs wants a ban on board members and appointed staff using personal email accounts to conduct county business, and a ban on the use of text or voice mail on personal phones for county business.
Lobbyists would also be required to log all lobbying contacts with the mayor and commissioners within 7 days.
Commissioners will discuss the proposal next Tuesday.