TNGOP Alleges Conflicts of Interest for Rep. Moore

Press Release from the Republican Party of Tennessee, Aug. 29, 2011:

Democrat State Representative Gary Moore was recently elected as President of the Tennessee AFL-CIO and it is causing quite the stir. Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney has pointed out that Rep. Moore’s new position as President of one of the nation’s largest special interest lobbying groups places their chief lobbyist on the floor of the state legislature.

While Rep. Moore has stated he will not register as a lobbyist with the state, it is important to point out that his predecessor was a registered lobbyist with the state. Moore claims that he will be able to separate his duties as a legislator from the statewide union’s lobbying and political activities.

It seems that Rep. Moore is having a difficult time finding the line in the sand between his job as a state legislator and his new job as chief lobbyist for the Tennessee AFL-CIO. In recent interviews the contradictions of Gary Moore are starting to pile-up:

  • Gary Moore says that it “would be inappropriate” for someone serving as a legislator to be a lobbyist. However, Gary Moore seems a bit confused on what lobbying is because he turned around and said “the primary thing I want to do is educate the legislators.” Educating legislators about issues concerning your organization is exactly what lobbyists do.
  • In another interview Gary Moore said he will separate himself from the AFL-CIO’s political activities. However, in a different interview he stated, “One thing you’re going to see is us [AFL-CIO] reaching out to all elected officials and trying to educate them on our concerns and what our issues are.”

Tennessee State Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney commented on Rep. Moore’s contradictions by saying, “If Gary Moore can’t distinguish between what is and what is not lobbying when being questioned about the obvious conflict of interest, how can we expect him to do it in the halls of the legislature when no one is watching?”