Nev. gov hopeful would seek tighter lobbying laws

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 10:53 AM

Democratic Nevada gubernatorial hopeful Rory Reid said he would tighten lobbying and ethics laws if elected to "create a foundation of trust" and make Nevada more attractive to new businesses.

Reid on Thursday also said he would end lobbying by legislators, extend Nevada's "cooling off" period to two years to encompass legislative sessions, require ethics training for all state employees and lobbyists, and seek penalties for even unwillful ethics violations.

"We need to build a foundation of trust in Nevada if we're going to do the things I think we need to do in our state to fundamentally change our economy," said Reid, who met individually with a parade of reporters at a Carson City coffee shop to discuss his policy.

"People aren't going to be willing to invest in our future if they don't believe our governmental processes are sound."

When asked, Reid said he didn't have a specific example of a lawmaker lobbying a state agency on behalf of a private party but added, "We should make sure it doesn't" happen.

Reid, 47, is the son of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and chairman of the Clark County Commission. He's the only Democrat so far to announce for the governor's race to unseat Republican Jim Gibbons, who says he will seek a second term.

Reid said he'd seek to tighten rules involving gift giving by lobbyists to include food and entertainment, and require reporting of legislators who attend group functions, even when all legislators are invited.

Reid also said his official schedule would be public and he would hold regular press conferences and broadcast town hall meetings statewide.