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Government and Politics

Democratic Ohio lawmaker wants lobbyists to disclose how much they make
Lobbyist says it's a private business

Andy Chow
Democratic state Rep. Bob Hagan says disclosing lobbyist salaries is one way toward a more open government.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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A Democratic lawmaker in the Ohio House wants to require lobbyists to disclose their annual salaries. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, the Youngstown representative believes that would bring another level of transparency to state government.

LISTEN: Hagan pushes for lobbyist transparency

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Democratic Rep. Bob Hagan from Youngstown is calling for new requirements for lobbyists to disclose their annual salaries.

The proposed bill comes in the wake of a new study which said that the Ohio oil and gas industry donated $1.8 million in campaign contributions. Hagan believes there are a lot of secret deals happening that end up influencing the legislative process.

 “The fact that lobbyists and legislators have too close of a relationship in so many ways really shouts out for reform. And I think that this bill gives (us) exactly that — reform of the legislative process, of campaign contributions. And (that would alleviate) the fear of most people in the state of Ohio -- that government does too much behind closed doors.”

In response to the study, Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, says the industry is simply supporting policymakers who share their ideals. Stewart added that expanding financial disclosures for lobbyists would hurt their business.

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