New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) recently issued an advisory opinion that expands the definition of lobbying to include aspects of public relations. On February 7, the Niagara Gazette published an editorial featuring a quote by Mark McClennan, APR, PRSA 2016 National Chair.
In the editorial titled "New state ethics rule defies reason
" Niagara Gazette
stated that JCOPE has an odd understanding of lobbying and worries about the decision's effect on free speech.
The editorial said the situation is best summed up by McClennan, when he stated, "Forcing communications professionals … to register as lobbyists does not support JCOPE’s mission to ‘restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the state’s ethics and lobbying laws, regulations and guidance.’ Instead, the poorly worded action will lead to more confusion as to what lobbying is … and less trust in government."
Read the full editorial
on the Niagara Gazette