Holsclaw’s Challenge of Optometry Bill Passage May Not Lead To Charges

by Gabe Bullard on February 23, 2011

Jefferson County Clerk and gubernatorial candidate Bobbie Holsclaw’s calls for an investigation into an optometry bill that passed the General Assembly may not yield significant results.

Holsclaw has asked the state Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney to look into the bill’s speedy passage. It cleared the legislature in two weeks and is one of the only measures to pass both chambers this session.

University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton says while the rapid progress on the bill is odd, it’s not clear whether there has been any wrongdoing.

“I’m not sure what the charges would be,” he says. “There are rules for lobbying. I don’t think anyone has actually said any of those rules were broken. So it could be the process of looking into this and seeing if any of the lobbying rules were broken.”

Optometrists have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying and supporting candidates. The bill allows them to perform certain surgeries currently only done by ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors. Holsclaw herself says she doesn’t have evidence any laws were broken.

“She’s running for governor. This may actually help get her name out there as someone who clearly is concerned about the possible influence that money can have in the political process,” says Clayton.

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