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Cook County lobbyists face stricter rules under County Board panel's recommendation

Friday, October 02, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Tribune staff report

Cook County lobbyists would have to disclose new clients within two days of landing them under changes a County Board committee approved Thursday.

The measures, proposed by Cook County Clerk David Orr and a bipartisan group of county commissioners, also would require that expanded lobbyist disclosure statements be posted online within three days of filing. Lobbyist names also would have to be included on board agendas next to contracts they sought, and ex-county officials and workers could not become lobbyists within the first year of leaving county employment.

"I think removing that revolving door is a good thing," said Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago. "It mimics practice at other public entities, and it will instill confidence that people are not taking undo advantage of the experience and relationships that they built up while they were on the public payroll."

Commissioners also made the one-year waiting period stricter by eliminating waivers in some cases.

If the full board approves the amendments next week, Orr said his office will be ready for "real-time" Web posting of the lobbying information by next summer.


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