Here is a question that needs to be answered by some branch of state government.
Is it ethical for lobbyists to be appointed to state boards?
The latest example is Stephen Huffman a registered lobbyist and partner in HCM Governmental Relations in Lexington. Huffman, a member of the Republican Party of Kentucky Executive Committee has been appointed to a four-year term on the State Board of Elections.
If that doesn't give you pause, then how about this?
The other partners in HCM are Scott Crosbie, husband of State Treasurer Candidate KC Crosbie, and Bill May.
HCM represents Aramark Correctional Food Services and Alliance Coal along with a number of other companies. Aramark was the subject of an Audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts and Alliance Coal PAC has contributed $18,000 to Kentucky candidates according to the Kentucky Board of Election Finance.
The appointment of lobbyists is nothing new in Frankfort.
There are two lobbyists on the board of the Kentucky Retirement Systems, Vince Lang Executive Director at Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association and Bob Wilcher, Executive Director at KY Head Start Association Both of these guys are full participants in the County Employees Retirement System (CERS).
There are over a dozen non-government lobbying organizations in CERS include Council of State Governments, Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) and Kentucky Association of Counties (KACO) and all their related organizations.
And let us not forget that Sylvia Lovely is now receiving fat pension from KRS for her lobbying work at the League of Cities. Remember retirement benefits are based on salary.
Again someone needs to do the right thing.
The quickest and easiest thing would be for the Governor to man up and do the right thing and not appoint lobbyists, the legislature should also man up look at the advisability of providing a retirement system for lobbyists.