State law forbids members of the General Assembly from raising money from lobbyists, which seems like the least the law should do, ban people who are trying to directly influence lawmakers from writing them checks while asking for votes or legislative favors.
Lobbyists often find all sorts of ways around the law, having PACs associated with their clients give to legislators or other members of their laws firms make contributions, etc.
Tuesday, December 17th a number of lobbyists are holding a fundraiser in Raleigh for Phil Berger, Jr., who is running for Congress for the seat currently held by Rep. Howard Coble from Greensboro who is stepping down at the end of 2014.
Former GOP Chair and current lobbyist Tom Fetzer recently sent out a solicitation for the event. Other lobbyists who are members of the host committee listed on the invitation include Republican lobbyists like former House Speaker Harold Brubaker, Mark Fleming and Dana Simpson. Democratic lobbyist Steve Metcalf is also on the committee.
It’s probably a safe bet that the candidate’s father will also be on hand for the festivities. That would be Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger Sr., who will have a lot to say about the fate of the bills the lobbyists are working on this summer.
The lobbyists must be opening their wallets for Phil Jr. only because they believe in him so strongly. Currying favor with his powerful father surely has nothing to do with it.