Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ethics Reform Proposal Incomplete--(Surprise!!!)

I suppose that some of these items will be helpful.

Assembly Speaker-elect Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) said he expects a merger of the state Elections and Ethics boards to pass the full Legislature in 2007.

Even Our Governor, DarthDoyle, will get into the act.

Doyle has promised to negotiate with Huebsch and Senate Majority Leader-elect Judy Robson (D-Beloit) on a new package to merge the Elections and Ethics boards, name a non-partisan board to run the new agency and give it independent authority to investigate wrongdoing by elected officials.

• A one-year cooling-off period before former ex-legislators can become lobbyists. Now, Miller said, allowing a legislator to register as a lobbyist the day after his or her term ends "is a little too close."

• Ending the decades-old practice of allowing state Senate committees to vote by circulating paper ballots after meetings. Senators should vote in public, no matter how controversial an issue is, Miller said.

• Giving more public notice of exactly what Senate committees will be voting on, and making advance copies available. That will end the practice of senators getting only a 24-hour notice of a committee meeting, and not knowing exactly what will be brought up, Miller said.

But the money, honey? Not so fast:

Groups such as Common Cause want the state to offer larger public grants to candidates who agree to limit their campaign spending.

Common Cause wants to use tax revenues to support candidates, and implicitly stomp on the First Amendment's protection of free speech, just like Senator Feingold did with his partner-in-crime, Sen. McPain.

We'll say it again:

When ALL campaign donations are immediately posted on-line, and

When ALL "groups" making donations to politicians and their campaigns must identify their officers, directors, and funding sources by name, on-line, immediately--

THEN "reform" will be on the way.

Of course, the best "reform" is Small Government--if there's no incentive to purchase legislation, then there's likely to be less buying-and-selling going on. But for at least a few years, "Small Government" is not going to happen.

All the rest is "baby steps."

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