Andy Ginther has proposed tough new ethics laws that will give Columbus residents more information to hold elected officials accountable. We are expanding lobbyist registration, shining more light on campaign finances, and passing the strongest city ethics laws in Ohio. Check out the full ethics proposal here.

Ginther is joined in this effort by former Charter Review Commission Co-Chair State Representative Michael Curtin, Dr. Herb Asher,  as well as elected city leaders including Mayor Michael B. Coleman, City Councilmember Zach Klein, Auditor Hugh Dorrian, and City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr.

Ginther’s proposals follow two years of review and Council action that began with the Charter Review Commission in 2014.  His plan would enhance the city’s lobbyist registration; expand ethics disclosure for elected officials; and shine more light on campaign contributions.

Lobbyist Registration. Ginther would change who must register as a lobbyist with the City Clerk’s office.  His proposal would expand the definition of a lobbyist and align Columbus laws with state laws.   It would also require a new disclosure report for lobbyists and increase penalties for those who violate the city’s lobbyist registry rules.

Ethics Laws. Elected officials would also face stronger financial disclosure under Ginther’s plan.   All city officials could be required to file a semiannual financial disclosure, in addition to their annual form. Officials would also have to provide a description of all gifts, in addition to the source.  Officials must adopt a model ethics policy for their office, conduct annual ethics training, and designate an ethics officer to coordinate ethics issues as well. Like lobbyists, elected officials would face increased penalties for failure to follow the new law.

Campaign Disclosure. Ginther’s third proposal shines more light on campaign finance contributions. His plan would create an online database of all city campaign finance reports and require additional campaign finance filings each year.   For election years, candidates would file nine reports, five required by the state and four required by the city.   For non-election years, candidates would file four reports, two required by the state and two required by the city.