Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Std-Ex: Utah Legislative Ethics Reform 101

Legislative ethics reform for dummies: a simple five point plan

Just to kickstart this morning's dicussion, we're delighted to shine the spotlight on this morning's most excellent Standard-Examiner lead editorial, in which Doug Gibson deftly cuts through the legislative fog, and sets forth a five point plan which would deliver the robust brand of legislative ethics reform that Utah citizens have been demanding since... well.. forever. The Std-Ex observes that the process of ethics reform ought not be complicated at all, despite the efforts of some in the legislature to spin and obfuscate. Let's call it Std-Ex Ethics Reform 101:
We will state, once again, the obvious: In the matter of ethics reform, legislators must do what their grandparents, mom, dad, and other trusted adults taught them as children — exercise integrity.
This is not a complex, convoluted issue. It’s very simple:
• Take no gifts, period
• Put a limit on campaign contributions and strict guidelines on how the money can be spent
• No lobbying for a few years after a legislator leaves office
• If you have a conflict of interest on an issue, you don’t vote on it
• Create an independent commission to explore ethics complaints
One of the ironies of politics is that the simplest solution is too often ignored. That is one of the reasons our nation has trillions of dollars in debt.
We congratulate the Std-Ex for wrapping it up in such a neat and tidy package, in a form that even the most ethically-twisted state legislators will be able to understand. We sincerely hope that at least our northern Utah legislative delegation will write it down so they don't forget it. Better yet, perhaps they should actually demonstrate leadership and DO SOMETHING about it.

Comments, anyone?


ozboy said...

Very good editorial indeed.

Even Schwepke seemed to awake, ever so briefly, from his deep and incurious slumber.

Good grief, what's happening in Ogden, did they put something in the water supply out there at the Standard?

If they keep this up they just may start to regain some of their long lost credibility.

Mike Ridgway said...


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