Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

According to Trip Jennings' NMI report, link;

The House passed a bill creating an ethics commission.
Within in the bill; different strokes for different folks;

"In the case of the executive branch, ..., the commission is required to issue a public report ... if the commission finds “clear and convincing evidence” that the official’s behavior constitutes an ethics violation."
(quoted in significant part, emphasis added)
However, if a "legislator" finds himself in exactly the same circumstances; clear and convincing evidence of conduct that constitutes an ethics violation,
... the commission shall issue a “confidential report to the appropriate legislative ethics committee.”
The legislative ethics committee will regularly report back to the ethics commission regarding the progress it is making, but, even;
"... the status report shall be confidential, according to the legislation."

In a state where often, the only punishment for corruption
is public shame, this secrecy presents as a
"Get Out of Jail Free" card, for legislators, from legislators.

This stinks.

And the idea that they would do this in broad daylight
speaks to the need for real ethics reform in this state; and for
a robust and independent ethics commission.

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