Thursday, January 21, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah House GOP Backs (Bogus) Ethics Package

Let's not take any wooden nickles in this matter folks... please sign the UEG petition

The Salt Lake Tribune's Cathy McKitrick reports this morning on a fascinating (but troubling) development on the 2010 Utah Legislative front. As the Utahns for Ethical Government's grass-roots petition drive builds momentum for its citizens' initiative, which would establish an Independent Ethics Commission and a strict code of ethical conduct for the Utah Legislature, GOP House members are doing an end run, and putting together (behind closed doors) a reportedly "toothless version" of ethics reform all their own:
Utah House GOP backs ethics package
Unlike the aforementioned UEG initiative, which would enjoy, once enacted, the force of (amendable) statutory law, the House-designed version would be constitutional in nature, and if passed by a legislative 2/3 majority, would become part of the Utah constitution. The upshot of this... if the House GOP leadership's so-called ethics reform legislation is inadequate, it could only be modified by the highly burdensome constitutional amendment process. One University of Utah political science professor perhaps sums it up best:
Matthew Burbank, a political science professor at the University of Utah, called the House's Constitutional amendment proposal "an interesting development."
"An independent ethics commission has clearly been something that most Republicans have been dissatisfied with," Burbank said. "And now they're endorsing it and putting it into the Constitution."
"If it's designed to preempt the [UEG] initiative because the Legislature has already done it," Burbank added, "and if the Legislature creates an empty vessel that doesn't do anything -- that would be a very cynical move."
We imagine we'll be hearing considerable propaganda over the next month from "cynical" House (and Senate) GOP "leaders" about how they're delivering robust ethics reform in their "new and improved" ethics reform package.

Let's not take any wooden nickles in this matter folks. UEG petitions remain available for signatures at these locations. If you haven't yet signed the petition, please don't dawdle. The petition submission deadline -- April 1, 2010 -- is approaching fast.

We envision a probable November 2010 scenario whereby Utah voters will be confronted with two competing ethics reform packages for ballot approval: 1) the citizens' legitimate UEG legislation, and 2) our cynical legislative leaders' watered-down version. It will of be our mission of course to educate Utah voters about the differences between these packages prior to the election. In the interim however, we urge our readers to avoid being lulled into a false sense of confidence that our state legislature is finally responding to the 85% of Utah voters who demand serious ethics reform legislation. Don't neglect to sign the UEG petion.

Time now for our readers to chip in your own 2¢.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.


Grizelda said...

What did anyone expect out of this culture driven legislature? Do you think these people will enact any useful legislation to bite the hand that feeds them their special cookies?

We need to elect people that have the people of Utah and their needs instead of the old guard that feathers their own nest every chance they get.

Curmudgeon said...

Comment bumped to front page

ozboy said...

Just read an interesting psychological piece that seems to fit these bozo's in Utah Republican leadership (so called) and especially Godfrey - recently of the Han tribe. It is called" The "Kruger Dunning effect" and claims "the super incompetent are so bad at what they are doing, they don't even realize it and assume they are amazing"

This new attempt at subverting the desire of the populace for an ethical government is about as credible as Charlie Sheen pushing for a chastity clause in the TeeVee biz.

googlegirl said...

The Dunning–Kruger effect

Biker Babe said...

Ha Ha!

Godfrey to a tee!


Jim Hutchins said...

While Jon Greiner was attending crime conferences, I was attending scientific conferences.

At one of those, I had the privilege of hearing Dave Dunning (of the eponymous "effect") speak. He was hilarious, and not at all incompetent, but the case studies of incompetence he presented had us rolling in the aisles.

get er' done said...

Is where Jon got his nice sun tan, I sure the conference was on the golf course.

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