Thursday, May 10, 2007

Louisiana State Legislature wants ethics? Humm.

Ethics - schmethics! Just about everyone who watches the state legislature is calling for stronger ethics reform (Metzgar, Moon) and now you have this article in The Advocate, and this in Nola.com revealing ethics reform is not being received by the legislators as well as hoped.

Here is one of the last paragraphs:
"The panel approved a proposal to require that lobbyists specifically report the issues they attempt to advance, rather than simply their clients. But the bill exempts those who lobby only the executive branch, and an amendment removed the requirement that lobbyists file their activity and expenditure reports electronically, meaning there will be no easily searchable public database for the information.
Two other financial disclosure bills were among a handful of measures that had not been heard when the committee adjourned its nearly five-hour session minutes before the full House was to convene."
Those who work on-line are sounding the drum beat and saying it is in this issue the Internet community can get involved.
Ethics and transparency should be present in all public service but there must be substance behind the "buzz" words and that is what ethic reform is all about in the legislature. Now the question is - how far will the proposals go? Just how much will they be watered down? And do our on-line contributors have enough visitors who will contact their legislators and let them know they are watching?

2 comments:

longtime viewer said...

Once again you ignore opportunities to get the councilmen on record and go off in another easier direction. You seem far more interested in stories about journalism than doing journalism. The Brown interview, the Lawson interview, the Hobbs interview - where are they?

And you are offended and insulted when we consumers question your priorities. Your answer is always to remind us that we have the TV remote. Take it or leave it?????

Greg Aymond said...

Retired Louisiana Congressman, Billy Tauzin, once
said: "Half of Louisiana is under water and the other half is under
indictment." "Louisiana politicians have thrived on bad-boy images
and populist appeal," says Pearson Cross, an assistant professor of
political science at the University of Louisiana
Lafayette". "Louisiana traditionally ranks among the most corrupt
states in the nation, according to a 2004 report by the Corporate
Crime Reporter for the National Press Club." "In just the past
generation, the Pelican State has had a governor, an attorney
general, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a
federal judge, a state Senate president and a swarm of local
officials convicted. Last year, three top officials at Louisiana's
Office of Emergency Preparedness were indicted on charges they
obstructed a probe into how federal money bought out flood-prone
homes. Last March the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered
Louisiana to repay $30 million in flood-control grants it had
awarded to 23 parishes." In a speech given by Mr. Lou Reigel,
Special Agent in Charge, FBI New Orleans Crime Commission, on March
30, 2004, he stated:

... public corruption remains the number one criminal
program in the FBI. It is certainly the number one criminal program
in the NO office. It is said that money is the root of all evil.
While I don't know if that's true, it is at the root of most public
corruption – whether legislative, regulatory, judicial or law
enforcement.
There is good reason for it being at the top of our list of
criminal priorities, and the reason is this: like you, we in the FBI
believe that public corruption is among the most serious of criminal
violations. It is a betrayal of the public's sacred trust. If
allowed to grow, public corruption permeates all aspects of society
and affects all other criminal priorities. And if allowed to spread
unchecked, public corruption can threaten the very foundation of
democracy.
LA Ethics 1, a group of groups areound the state pushing ethics reform, cited an LSU studt which ranked political corruption tied with education as the number one reason given for businesses not locating in Louisiana.
Visit the LA Ethics 1 website at: http://www.laethics1.com/, and contact you resprentatives and deman that Louisiana adopt these ethics reforms. Also, another good question is why is our local Chmaber of COmmerce not listed as a supporter?