“The Only Violation Involved the Lobbyist”

The Salisbury Post (North Carolina) reports on an alleged improper attempt to influence legislation.

By all accounts, Fred Steen (R-Rowan) did everything right when a lobbyist made an improper offer, reporting it immediately to the House Joint Legislative Ethics Committee, members of which subsequently referred the activity to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Steen returned a phone call Thursday to the Post, but said only, “I can’t say anything.”

Rep. Lorene Coates (D-Rowan) said House members were told that a lobbyist for Blue Cross Blue Shield offered to pay off the debt of a representative’s constituent if the representative killed a bill pertaining to procedures affecting how insurers collect overpayments from doctors.

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