In the past two years, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent $1 million lobbying Kentucky lawmakers to prevent passage of a bill requiring prescriptions for products with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine used to manufacture methamphetamine.
That amount was reported to the Legislative Ethics Commission but, according to the commission’s general counsel, the group spent far more on public advertising to gin up pressure on lawmakers. And those expenditures weren’t reported because the law doesn’t require them to be.
But John Schaaf and Commission Executive Director Anthony Wilhoit want to see that change. The two men presented to the Interim Committee on State Government Wednesday five recommended changes in Kentucky’s legislative ethics code.
One of them would “require reporting of the cost of advertising which appears during a session of the General Assembly, and which supports or opposes legislation, if the cost is paid by an employer of legislative agents, or a person affiliated with an employer.”
“Since 2010 Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent $1 million on lobbying alone,” Schaaf told the committee, “but it also appears they’ve spent a lot more than that on advertising and that advertising, I suspect, generated a lot of messages to you.”
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