OH JOY! ND Legislators To Get Free Food After All?
Y'know when your Facebook feed takes it upon itself to put together a memories montage just for you? It's a real surprise and you find yourself reveling in the memories. It's a beautiful thing. It wasn't Facebook that just took me back in time...it was this KVRR TV news blip
North Dakota’s Ethics Commission has advanced an exception to its meal rules for public officials.
The exception would allow lawmakers, elected officials and other state employees to accept meals of $10 or less from members of the general public without notifying the board.
And just like that, my favorite story of the year was back! (pandemic obviously worst story).
If you weren't there for the first go-round, or are just wondering where I'm going with this...make a quick click on this from January 5 2021 "North Dakota Makes It Tricky To Buy Politicians" the memories will coming flowing in...just make sure you come back cuz there's more.
Y'see, lobbyists were officially cast out by law. No more "gifting" for you!
Trinkets as nominal as cups and stress balls are prohibited. Gifting violations carry civil penalties that could be up to $1,000 for gifts worth less than $500, and twice the value of gifts worth $500 or more.
Very cool concept that was not received well by North Dakota legislators that were now going from "steak and lobster to finger food". Representative Keith Kempenich infamously shared his thoughts...
Kempenich says he used to get fancy dinners from lobbyists, but that now he has to eat spaghetti out of a can.
You can read all about that from this story from January 21, 2021 "Lobbyist Gift Ban Has ND Rep Eating From A Can"
Oh my goodness, we had so much fun in the comments section. Aren't memories great?
Now enter the North Dakota Ethics Commission, their plans to revisit the whole just let me buy you breakfast portion of politics will be considered in July. Well US News and World Reports is gonna chime in too...
Ethics Commission Executive Director Dave Thiele said he reviewed the Capitol Cafe menu, and “this would allow an individual to purchase modest lunch or breakfast and coffee for a public official as they educate them on whatever concerns them.”
SNAP! The dinner tab is still on you legislators! Make sure you get filled up during lunch and breakfast y'all. Because you know what dinner's gonna be..
Yep, spaghetti in a can. Although probably with a plastic spork.