Their well-to-do members strong-armed local officials or dazzled them with hometown projects.Their efforts set out a playbook for how influential business interests are winning in state capitals across the country.
The following August, Jeff Wilkinson, then-president of New York’s association of fire marshals and inspectors, evoked Nora’s death in arguing for the state to make sprinklers mandatory in new homes.
Only California and Maryland, along with dozens of cities, have adopted the International Code Council’s recommendation and required the devices.
Pro Publica published a detailed investigation of how the fight played out in South Carolina. On a Sunday afternoon in early May 2015, a fire broke out in Leslie Lamirande’s newly built home in Van Buren, N. She and her son were safe — she’d been outside, watching him play.
“They came and took control away from the government that was closest to the people,” Boehme said.
Referring to the housing lobby, he said, “The powers that be were very strong.” In an interview, Otto said he was not influenced by his campaign donors; He was worried thousands of families would be priced out of homeownership if sprinklers were required.