In response to the controversy surrounding Attorney General Kathleen’s handling of a government corruption case, implicating four Philadelphia state legislators, State Senator Daylin Leach announced a plan yesterday to introduce a bill addressing this very issue.
His proposal would ban cash gifts to state officials from any registered lobbyist or anyone who is not a member of their own family. It would also limit cash campaign contributions to $50, addressing the issue of an indirect payoff in a quid pro quo situation. Leach says:
“We’ve all read recently about allegations of legislators accepting large cash gifts from a lobbyist. I obviously do not know the truth of any of those allegations, however in reading the press accounts of the investigation and the allegations that emerged, I was troubled to learn that there was no legal prohibition against accepting such gifts if they had been offered. ”I understand that if a gift exceeds the limit, it must be disclosed. However, the nature of cash makes it much more difficult to detect a failure to disclose such as was alleged in the recent investigation. It is critical that there be the maximum possible transparency so that the public may know who is attempting to influence their lawmakers. Cash in envelopes is antithetical to this transparency.”
Senator Leach has circulated the memo to members of the State Senate, and we predict it will be an easy sell, given the harsh press coverage against Attorney General Kathleen Kane for halting the flawed investigation. We haven’t received word on a similar proposal from the State House, but we will update this article upon news of that development.
Senator Leach is one of four candidates in the left- leaning 13th congressional race. His opponents are State Representative Brendan Boyle, Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies, and Dr. Valerie Arkoosh.