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Re: “Ethics initiative appears to be falling short of signatures

So we're having trouble finding enough people willing to sign a petition for ethics reform?

The Arkansas Legislature is one of the few workplaces where employees are encouraged to cheat and even given a briefing at orientation on how to do it effectively. In some situations, they are told to submit 12 months of “expenses” in advance to expedite paperwork and processing. In other words, new legislators are taught how to circumvent the system when they begin their job.

This is the inception of bogus “office space” in personal houses or garages. Most spouses and children would be mortified if constituents from the legislator’s district showed up at all hours to discuss business in the “ office” which is actually the family den. And because new legislators are told they can be reimbursed for support staff, the spouse, girlfriend or daughter is immediately promoted to secretary, consultant, advisor, etc. Anyone can get an LLC, which makes it look more legitimate.

The more trips a legislator makes to the capitol, the more money he makes. All he has to do is check in when he arrives to collect per diem and mileage for that day. No one ever checks to see if he is actually there or doing any work. Committee meetings are spread out throughout the month to help facilitate this payment plan. It doesn’t matter if you are on the committee or not. This can rack up some substantial reimbursements.

Lobbyists are another matter. Meals and drinks in some of the best restaurants are provided to the legislator, his friends and family. Rules now say the lobbyists must be present, but there are ways around that. Football tickets, the use of corporate sky boxes and other perks are available if you know the right person. There is a story told by restaurant personnel about a lobbyist who was enjoying a nice dinner with his family. A small group of legislators well known for never paying for their own meals came in and the lobbyist asked to be taken out the back door through the kitchen to avoid having to pick up their tab.

Legislative official salary is minimum. The bulk of legislator’s income comes from creative ways to circumvent the expense reimbursement. Being in the legislature can be someone’s sole source of income if you know how to work the system.

And we can't find enough people to sign a damn petition to say this is wrong?

What the hell???

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by flyonthewall on 07/06/2012 at 10:50 AM


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