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NY Press Club Objects To Commission's Lobbying Opinion

WAMC file photo

The New York Press Club is objecting to an advisory opinion from the state ethics commission that public relations professionals should file lobbying reports if they contact media seeking editorials to advance a client's position.

Club President Steve Scott says Friday the opinion undermines journalists ability to keep private the names of informed sources.

Before voting 10-to-3 for the opinion Tuesday, the commission deleted a reference to media consultants contacting reporters to push a client's message.

Commission officials say consultants would have to register and identify who's paying them to advocate on state policy matters or legislation, not to name media members or outlets contacted.

The lobbying opinion also applies to consultants' grass-roots organizing and introducing clients to public officials for advocacy.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.