Orange County Mayor Proposes Lobbyist Texting Reforms - State and Federal Communications

October 11, 2012  •  

Orange County Mayor Proposes Lobbyist Texting Reforms

Orange CountyOrange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is calling for measures to monitor and prevent lobbyists from texting county commissioners during meetings. The county commission voted in September to delay putting a measure requiring employers to provide employees with sick time on the ballot. Three of the four commissioners who voted to delay the measure acknowledged that they were texting with lobbyists opposed to the measure during the meeting, and later deleted a number of those texts.

Mayor Jacobs released a memo stating that she ordered a system to be set up to archive text messages from county phones. She is also calling for the county to study how other governments address electronic lobbying during meetings, in consideration of a potential ban on such discussions.

Advocates for the proposed sick time ballot initiative have filed suit claiming that the county commissioners violated state public record and open meetings laws, and asking the court to set aside the vote on the measure.

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