Ethics Reform Bill – Failure

Take a look at it for your self – here’s the summary page from common cause:…

Apparently Pam Wilcot has totally lowered her standards for what passes for ethics reform here in the Commonwealth -because this bill is 100% bark and 0% bite.  

Everything on the surface seems fine, but then you realize that none of it will ever be enforced and that there is still ZERO transparency on any of these issues.  

So the Ethics Commission’s power has been ‘strengthened’ – but investigations and reports are still hidden from the public.  Letter’s between officials and the ethics commission are still private and can not be seen by reporters or the public.  

The bill allows the AG to convene a statewide grand jury… umm.. I’m pretty sure the AG could have done that without this legislation – or at the least could have convicted people in another way.  

On the Lobbying front, while the disclosure requirements are ‘expanded’ again the access to get this information is still hidden at the Sec. of State’s office.  The Sec. of State no longer prints out reports on lobbyist activity – instead it puts it on the web – in a terribly unsearchable index that no one can access easily.  Worst system ever.  

Gives the AG authority to regulate the open meeting law… which the AG will never enforce.  

All of this is all for show – ethics problems will not go away until it is a transparent system in which the public can access all the documents from all the different players.  

Who is watching the watchdog?

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