2016-11-23 / Around Town

Boyle Unfazed by Trump Lobbying Ban

By Tom Walsh

Christopher Boyle, the veteran Statehouse lobbyist and lifelong Newport resident, believes that President-elect Donald J. Trump’s plan to ban state and federal lobbyists from working in his administration is reasonable.

“There certainly should be some cooling off,” Boyle said. “It’s just a question of what period is the appropriate period.”

Under Rhode Island law, members of the General Assembly are precluded from lobbying for one year after they leave legislative office. Similarly, Assembly members can’t go directly from the legislature into a state judgeship.

Under the Trump plan, anyone being vetted for an administration slot will have to provide a “termination of lobbying” form if they are registered as a state or federal lobbyist. Furthermore, anyone leaving a position in the Trump administration would be banned from being a lobbyist for five years.

While he believes that the president elect’s proposal to ban lobbyists from his administration is appropriate, Boyle said the ban could result in unintended consequences. “It might discourage qualified people from joining his administration,” Boyle said. “He might lose some policy expertise.”

Boyle also said that the fiveyear ban after serving in the Trump administration “seems stringent to me.”

However, Boyle said that the president-elect campaigned on this issue so his stance on lobbying is no surprise. “How it works, we’ll have to see,” he said. “It’s just a matter of degree. It will be very interesting.”

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