Ex-legislators face few limits as lobbyists

State Rep. Hank Zuber said he authored the legislation because former lawmakers “could take advantage of personal relationships with other members.”

“It may not be intentional,” Zuber, R-Ocean Springs, said. “But it’s only human nature to try to help people, if a friend comes to you and needs a bill to pass or die.”

But Blackmon, a Democrat from Canton and the husband of Barbara Blackmon, said the length of time Zuber proposed was “arbitrary.”

It wouldn’t work in the Mississippi Legislature, he said, because “we have a 25 percent turnover every four years.”

Blackmon said his wife was out of office for four years before she began lobbying this year, but “she still knows everybody.”

Lobbying after lawmaking also could be a double-edged sword for politicians who crossed each other while in office, he added.

“Better be careful,” he said. “There are some fresh memories here.”

Clarion Ledger
3/2/8