8/15/2005

PSoTD Example 18 of Why Government Shouldn't Hire Lobbying Firms

Because there's always a strong potential for conflict of interest.

Lobbyist challenged on voting machines

Salt Lake County leaders continue to unleash a litany of complaints about the $10 million load of fancy electronic voting machines they must use by next year.

Problem is, the county's own powerful lobbying firm, The Tetris Group, helped do the deal.

Turns out, Tetris doubles as a lobbyist for Diebold Election Systems, whose touch-screen voting machines the firm helped prod the state to buy.

Tetris' role is not a legal violation. But the relationship is raising questions of a possible conflict, particularly given the cost.

County Mayor Peter Corroon and Clerk Sherrie Swensen cite sticker shock and the furious pace of the plan as a problem.

"It's just so new and it hasn't been tested," Swensen says. "I'm a little frustrated that we're being forced to make it before that technology has been perfected."

PSoTD Example 18 of Why Government Shouldn't Hire Lobbying Firms

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