Greg has done an excellent job keeping everyone informed about the ethics/lobbying efforts. I felt that needed a new home. From the N&O:
All together, the new rules would:
* Eliminate many perks of privilege -- ACC tickets, expensive dinners and golf trips provided by lobbyists and their clients.
* Stop the practice of spending campaign money on cars, computers or cash to family members.
* Limit the influence of lobbyists on raising campaign money for lawmakers and top state officials.
* Impose new criminal penalties for those who break the rules: Lie about your financial interests on a public disclosure form and face a felony. Hide them and face a misdemeanor.
More from the N&O
But some cited what lawmakers did not do.
Lawmakers did not: ban lobbyists from soliciting contributions, turn over policing of legislative ethics violations to an independent authority or bring much of the information on ethics cases out from behind closed doors.
They also did little to weaken the campaign funding power legislative leaders have over the legislative body. Legislative leaders, for example, can still distribute tens of thousands of dollars into key legislative races by running their campaign money through the political parties. If legislative leaders could only give directly, they would be limited to $4,000 per candidate during an election.
"Maybe someday, we will ... seriously address the big chunks of money that flow through our campaign system," said Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican.