As a former state legislator, I read with interest the article about the State House lobbyists in the April 28 newspaper. Unfortunately, the reporter did not make clear that the thousands of dollars spent by lobbyists does not go into the pockets of legislators.

Many citizens, not intimately familiar with the procedures of legislatures, believe too many legislators are corrupt.

I took a financial loss every year I was in Augusta. Although I disagreed with some of my colleagues, I cannot recall ever thinking they were dishonest, espousing a position because they were receiving some form of compensation.

The money spent by various groups goes into making information available to legislators in many different ways, and into the pockets of the people doing the lobbying. A good example of the variation in lobbying efforts is the amount spent by the Maine Education Association — $8,700 — and Altria Client Services, “a subsidiary of tobacco giant Phillip Morris,” which spent a whopping $156,808.

Regardless of the amount spent, the important information for Mainers should be that the money is not going into the pockets of their hard-working legislators.

Bonnie Green


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