State Senator Tony Avella, a Queens Democrat, said today he will push legislation that would require disclosure for all political consulting firms that have “substantial contact” with both elected officials and other clients.
Mr. Avella, reacting to a NY1 story about the significant influence the consulting firm BerlinRosen has on City Hall, said he would want these firms to disclose their activities like registered lobbyists already do.
“The fact of the matter is that these firms are meeting with government officials, all the while advocating their outside clients’ interests,” Mr. Avella, the chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, said in a statement. “Whether these firms are directly making requests of elected officials or not, they are in a position to broker agreements, expedite client meetings, and influence decision-makers.”
Mr. Avella noted he already backs legislation that would separate the activity of lobbyists and political consultants–the bill appears unlikely to pass either chamber–and said it’s “high time” to review laws regulating the activities of consulting firms, who critics say perform some of the same duties as lobbyists without having to register with the government.
“It is high time that we review the law regulating these activities and I am committed to developing legislation that would require disclosure for all firms that have substantial contact with both elected officials and outside clients,” Mr. Avella added.