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Letters: Transparency on lobbying welcome

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano delivers his state

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano delivers his state of the County address at Twin Rinks Ice Center in Eisenhower Park on the evening of March 11, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

If you really want to control lobbying of elected officials ["Moving fast on lobbying rules," News column, April 23], there should be a review board made up of an equal number of representatives from both the majority and minority parties. The board should also include representatives from the county comptroller's and legislative budget review offices.

If a lobbyist violates county law, that lobbyist and his or her client should be banned from bidding on all future county contracts. This would protect residents from political favoritism.

Gary Peckett, Baldwin

Editor's note: The writer is a former employee of Nassau County's Office of Management & Budget.

I got excited by this headline: "Nassau bills: Disclose all lobbying" [News, April 22]. There have been too many stories lately of politicians getting unethical or illegal financial benefits from lobbyists.

Putting all those contracts on the county website is a great idea. Unfortunately, I didn't have to read too much farther to find that County Executive Edward Mangano thinks we need stricter accountability from lobbyists. He's got it backward; what we need is stricter accountability from our public officials.

Rather than requiring lobbyists to register and report lobbying activities, why not require all elected Nassau County officials and their appointees to report all contacts with lobbyists? There are certainly fewer of these county employees than lobbyists, and that's where these perks and payoffs we read about weekly are directed.

Failure to disclose contact with lobbyists should be enforced with criminal sanctions. Surely our upstanding officials would not object to being subject to the same scrutiny that they favor for the lobbyists. While we're at it, let's ask for the same accountability from our state legislators and town and village elected representatives as well.

Nassau County could lead the way in setting a standard for ethics in government!

Craig Aarseth, Massapequa