Love Your Lobbyist
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The New York Public Interest Research Group, or NYPIRG, is considered one of the "Good Government" groups that operate in Albany. They pride themselves on being a non-partisan, not-for-profit group that promotes an agenda of open government and active, involved citizens.

Executive Director Blair Horner is also a registered lobbyist. He understands why some people have a negative opinion of lobbyists. But he will also tell you that they play a vital role in our modern society. It has to do with that business of people "petitioning their government for redress of grievances." Lobbyists know who to talk to and how to get things done in government. I spoke to Blair for this week's #citizenactive reports.

I also asked about NYPIRG's legislative priorities for the year ahead. I expected to get a list. What I got instead was a discussion of priorities and also opportunities. They choose to strike when the political iron is hot.

Lobbyists in New York are regulated by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, under the terms of the New York State Lobbying Act,

Protecting the environment is part of NYPIRG's mission. That includes promoting legislation that is designed to curb climate change. Blair has some unsetting things to say about that, which I will post here tomorrow.