So-called ethics reform | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, February 6, 2011

So-called ethics reform

Posted By on Sun, Feb 6, 2011 at 7:53 AM

John Brummett noted a comment by a putative legislative ethics reformer, Rep. Anne Clemmer, that I also had meant to swat. In passing a mostly meaningless bill that will at least stop three or four legislators from their practice of piling up auto mileage reimbursement to attend conferences, Clemmer defended the legislature's refusal to close the door on the largely unregulated, unreported and extremely cost-effective lobby practice of wining and dining legislators.

Clemmer said, why, legislators would fear attending information conferences on account of running afoul of rules on entertainment expenses. This is, simply, horse hockey. The world is full of businesses that conduct training sessions and hold meetings without benefit of porterhouse steaks and martinis. If the giveaways are illegal, they won't be given and all legislators may attend without fear of favor. And if they're hungry, they can walk to the meeting and carry a lunch, unaccustomed as most of them are to picking up their own checks.

Lobbyists will be happy to trek up the Capitol during business hours to chat up and inform legislators, you may be sure Ms. Clemmer. If group meetings are most efficient, Brummett suggests a legislative conference room for that purpose. Better ethics and fewer lobbyist costs to pass on to those of us who ultimately carry the freight.

The sad truth is that there is no ethics reform because 1) lobbyists know the petty bribes work and 2) too many legislators don't want to give up the freebies. Either reason is a conclusive argument for reform.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Security tightens at Little Rock airport

    Security procedures will tighten at Clinton National Airport this week as the Transportation Security Administration requires separate screening of all electronic devices larger than a cell phone.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Central High at 60: Seize the day mayor. Stand up for LR schools.

    The conversion of a national debate on race is an apt commentary for the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock school crisis and the city's effort to sell it as an occasion to laud progress. Progress would be someone talking about the elephant in the room — the white establishment's takeover of the majority black Little Rock School District.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • Mike Beebe weighs in on preserving his private option plan

    Former Gov. Mike Beebe urges Arkansans to call senators to defeat the Graham-Calssidy health bill, which he says would be devastating to the Arkansas economy and the hundreds of thousands of people helped by the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
    • Sep 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation