“To the esteemed members of the New York Press Corps,” the email read, if the state ethics commission “has its way, this note will have to be reported to the government.”
The letter, sent earlier this month from a group of Republican consultants, was intended to set off alarms.
And it did, intensifying an already vivid debate in New York political circles about lobbying, communications and free speech with regard to consulting rules proposed by the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The panel is set to address the proposed regulations on Tuesday…
It is the third, which defines consultants’ work on “grass-roots campaigns” as lobbying—even when the work involves contacting only a member of the media, rather than a public official—that has sparked First Amendment-fueled outrage.