Herbst rules out lobbyist money for state campaign

Hartford lobbyists won’t find a welcome mat laid out for them at First Selectman Tim Herbst’s campaign headquarters, according to a statement released by the campaign. Herbst said he would not seek or accept contributions from registered lobbyists and called on all other Republicans considering bids for statewide office to do the same.

"I won't dance around this issue with gimmicks or distractions, I will not accept contributions from lobbyists in this campaign," said Herbst, "I call on any Republican considering a bid for statewide office to do the same."

Herbst said “out-of-touch legislators” and Gov. Dannel Malloy have “catered to the well-connected special interests in our state while struggling workers, families and businesses have suffered.”

The Office of State Ethics has a list of several hundred registered lobbyists on its web page. These special interests range from medical giants like Johnson & Johnson and Yale New Haven Health, to business and labor groups like Pitney Bowes, the AFL-CIO and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, and non-profit agencies like the Connecticut Association of YMCAs and the Fund for the Environment. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CT Lobbying Group also employs a lobbyist. So does the state Audubon Society, the National Rifle Association, MGM International, ESPN, the American Heart Association, the CT Alliance Against Domestic Violence and the AARP, among hundreds of others.

Contributions from any of those groups would not be accepted, Herbst said.

"If we want different results from Hartford, we need to change, from top to bottom, the way business is done in Hartford," Herbst said.