Aubrey Betz of the legislative tracking software
firm TrackBill told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV
Friday about her efforts to compile a database of gifts given to state legislators.
Calling TrackBill's gift registry "a work in progress," Betz discussed the patchwork of rules and restrictions on gift-giving for each state, and the difficulty of getting employees of state ethics commissions to part with what is presumably public information.
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Betz said that she sometimes wonders if the whole system surrounding disclosure of gifts to public officials is "designed to make it complicated."
She said that in her phone inquiries, she is "typically transferred to two or three people" per call, and that bureaucrats seem more fearful of releasing too much information than too little.
"I think it's people trying to protect themselves," said Betz.
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