Monday, February 18, 2008

Observations on Ethics

New Republican Robert Adley of Benton, expressed himself on the current special session on ethics and the legislation that is being passed. "For the large part (it) is fluff to me."
Adley did suggest that his amendment to the ethics bill which calls for audits will be the most significant thing to come out of the session. According to the Senate website, Adley's amendment

1. Adds provisions requiring the audit of not less than 25% of the campaign finance reports required by law by the campaign finance supervisory committee.
2. Provides a grace period of the first 12 months audits are conducted before a fine or penalty will be imposed as the result of such initial audit.
3. Exempts such audits from the public records law.
Way to go sir, audit 25 members per year and then don't let the public know the results.

Senator Sherri Smith Cheek of Keithville says "There is a core group, a big core group, that has tried not to lose sight of the goal to implement something that does actually provide good information to the citizens." That's good as far as it goes, but what the citizens really want is a tough ethics law with tough enforcement, not just information.
(I wonder if it would affect senators who have the state police ferry Sugar Bowl tickets from Shreveport to New Orleans?)

Rep. James Morris of Oil City echoes the governor in saying that 'perception is everything.' Morris does go on to say "I'm for a system of soundness and good common sense".

Rep. Patrick Williams of Shreveport says "I pray that this is not just for show but to actually show Louisiana is a moral and ethical state — that we are here to do whatever is best for the people we represent." Rep. Williams gets it - unlike the Governor, The Speaker, Senator Alario and Representatives Badon and Arnold. It is about more than just following the letter of the law, it is about having the judgment to recognize that something is not right, such as using your position to give or receive 'freebies' even when you are debating outlawing the same.

Side Notes
In August, when campaigning, Jindal said "We cannot allow the good old boy network to run things anymore." That was a short lived outlook, of course. This administration has appointed as many 'connected' people to offices and advisory boards as any other. Just today, it was announced that Matt Parker is the new acting executive director of the Louisiana Republican Party. Parker is a brother-in-law of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief of staff, Timmy Teepell. He was political director of Jindal’s campaign for governor.
James Quinn, the former state party director, recently went on the state payroll as Jindal’s director of State Boards and Commissions.

House Speaker Jim Tucker asked committee chairmen last week to put on hold any committee dinners during the ethics special legislative session.
Tucker was referring to the practice in which lobbyists wine and dine entire legislative committees.
Tucker said the request had nothing to do with the ethics session. “I was afraid we were going to be working late,” Tucker said .

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Jim, I hope you're saving Jindal's quotes. They will be useful one day. I'm certain of that.

BTW, I see that my other comment did go up.