The key cut comes in the last minute or so....
Here is the quote in print, from the story:
Senator Niehaus denies any back room deals. He says lobbyists “certainly they have access because we’re sitting at the table with them but… I don’t see any correlation between lobbying and whether people have access because anybody who wants to have access can call the office and set up an appointment.”
Niehaus says he meets with constituents all the time. He defends the rights of the sponsors giving gifts, saying "Do they have an influence? Only to the extent that they provide you information, you know, but it isn’t a matter of I am going to call someone and say, ‘Well, how do you want me to vote on this?’”
While Niehaus lauds the opportunity for professional education, Turcer says the conference offers an opportunity for much more. “If you’re hanging out with a bunch of bank lobbyists after a while those are the people that you could listen over your neighbor, over your constituent.” She says, “It would be wonderful if there was an opportunity like this for the public.”
Niehaus says it happens all the time. “If I go to a church festival and someone walks up to me and you know, makes a pitch about a particular bill that they want me to support, are they lobbying? Sure they are.”
This guy should not be in a role to represent the values of the Republican Party, even the Ohio Republican Party. His career is one of sucking up to others (Doug White), using their influence to get ahead, and building a network of toadies and influence. He is what is wrong with politics and politicians. I will be glad when he is gone and hope that whomever takes his place will not be as easily influenced by cashola and not be quite the dullard when it comes to sticking one's foot in one's mouth.