Susan Marshall: An honest lens

April 16, 2013 

An honest lens

Rep. Robert Brawley, R-Iredell, has filed a bill to allow lobbyists to give freely to lawmakers and not disclose it, and that’s OK because he sees “people with integrity and honesty around here” (“Ethics rules for lobbyists may get more lax,” April 12).

He has “faith in the majority of people being honest.” And yet this faith does not extend to the voters of North Carolina, whom his party wants to require to show ID to vote. This despite the fact that multiple cases of illegal campaign contributions and other shenanigans in the legislature have been documented in the past 20 years, while there are few documented cases of voter fraud.

These two bills seem inconsistent, and his statement makes no sense. But here’s what does make sense. The voter ID bill would disproportionately disenfranchise people who are less likely to vote for Brawley’s party. The change in the lobbying rules would let Brawley and his colleagues benefit personally from lobbyists’ largesse.

When viewed through a lens of pure self-interest, suddenly the reasoning becomes very clear. I sure don’t see much “integrity and honesty” around this legislative body.

Susan Marshall


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