About ethics reform | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 10, 2008

About ethics reform

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 11:12 AM

State Rep. Dan Greenberg pats himself on the back for a tepid stab at ethics reform. I'm not inclined to join.

With annual sessions ahead, now more than ever we need a law -- not House rule -- that requires detailed reporting of lobbyist expenditures on legislators and what interests they are advancing when that money is spent. As a check on the lobbysts' truthfulness, legislators, too, should report gifts from lobbyists, with no exceptions for dinners under $40 and no exceptions for so-called group events.

Better still would be the Wal-Mart rule: a law banning gifts of any sort to legislators, even a cup of coffee. But absent the perfect, meaningful and enforceable disclosure that applied to all and would be enforced by an independent body (not other House members) is at least a step in the right direction. Get it now, Dan?

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