State Rep. Larry Hall is holding a reception and fundraiser tonight in Durham.
Dome's collective eyebrows rose when we saw a copy of the e-mail invite addressed to "Legislative Liaisons," the title generally given to lobbyists for state government agencies. Lobbyists, of course, are forbidden by law from contributing to candidates for the legislature or statewide office.
Hall told Dome Thursday that the event is a holiday reception and contributions are not necessary for attendees (hear that, fans of hors d'oeuvres?). And the "legislative liaisons" label on the e-mail is how his e-mail contacts are organized, he said. The term refers to anyone, registered lobbyist or not, who might have talked to him about issues before the legislature.
"We're certainly not encouraging anyone to violate a regulation and if we were, we certainly wouldn't be sending out an e-mail encouraging people to violate a regulation," Hall said, adding that he has never received and wouldn't accept a contribution from a lobbyist.
The event is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Durham Arts Council, and will feature Speaker Joe Hackney, an Orange County Democrat and Durham Democratic state Reps. Mickey Michaux and Paul Luebke and Durham Mayor Bill Bell.