Thank you, Lord, for small mercies. I have really been in a state this week, fearful that our legislators might have to actually pay to attend a high school ball game or play. That fear has been alleviated, however, as the bill regulating free tickets passed the house today with amendments allowing the tickets as long as a registered lobbyist doesn't pay for them.
But wait - it doesn't just cover local school events.
A lege may have all the tickets to professional, semi-professional and collegiate sporting events, musical concerts and other entertainment venues as well as golfing, fishing or hunting outings that they can scrounge up - if a registered lobbyist is not paying.
If, however, you need tickets for a concert, say a Hannah Montana concert, no problem. Just don't get them from a registered lobbyist.
With another wink and nod from the Governor, the legislators have changed absolutely nothing. So fearful of losing their freebies, they fought tooth and nail and prevailed, and in all honesty, with very little opposition. The bill will go to the senate for consideration.
This is just one of the 'compromises' that has been achieved. We already covered the restrictions on doing business with the state. The bill was changed to say that if you don't actively take part in the management of your company, it's okay. You have until 2012 to wind it down.
Governor Jindal said in his victory speech: "Real ethics reform is not simply campaign rhetoric. It is the lynchpin for change, for regaining the confidence of the voters, for turning our state around. If and when folks try to stop it, I will call them out. If -- If and when people try to throw in amendments designed to derail ethics reform, I will call them out."
Governor, if you meant any part of what you said, it is time to start calling them out.