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Batchelder's Turn As ECOT Lobbyist Raises Questions About Buffer

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Critics are sounding off about news that former Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder, who left office in December, is now working for a lobbying firm that’s representing ECOT,the state’s largest – and poorest performing – charter school. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.  

Batchelder is a school choice supporter, but will serve in an advisory role, and won’t lobby his former colleagues. But there’s nothing to prevent a lawmaker from leaving office one day and becoming a lobbyist the next. A law passed in the '90s that banned ex-lawmakers from directly lobbying their colleagues for a year was struck down in 2010. Catherine Turcer from the government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio says she’s concerned about the closeness between lobbyists and lawmakers.  

"Clearly, having some type of buffer between lobbying and legislating is really important because it can be really confusing in this age of term limits.” 

The so-called revolving door prohibition remains in place for the governor’s office, though.

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