by Max Brantley
Sheffield Nelson, who's leading the drive for a severance tax increase, has announced a news conference tomorrow at which he will name a public official who's been paid to lobby for several gas companies.
In theory, the law prohibits lobbying by state legislators. Presuming they are all law-abiding people, that would lead suspicion in the direction of county officials. But I'm just speculating.
Other speculation is that Nelson might argue that advocacy for the industry by legislators who've received campaign contributions amounts to paid lobbying. It's always worthwhile to look at money sources for leading advocates for legislative propositions. When the contributions are significant, it lends unseemliness to the activities through the appearance of a quid pro quo. But I don't think it constitutes, on its face, paid lobbying or an ethical violation, which Nelson suggests as a possibility.
We'll see. He'll shine some publicity on campaign contributions at a minimum, I figure.