Watchdogs applaud ethics progress (1 Viewer)

MikeyF

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BATON ROUGE — Gov. Bobby Jindal's office released testimonials today regarding the
ethics session. Six good government groups were pleased with the progress made,
according to Melissa Sellers, the governor's press secretary. The quotes she provided
include:

La Ethics 1: “The LA Ethics 1 coalition congratulates Gov. Jindal's administration, our
legislators, and Louisiana's citizens for the important accomplishments in this special
session. When the coalition began the call for governmental ethics reform last year,
voters around the state took notice, and our elected officials have responded. Today is
a new day for Louisiana. We have sent a strong message to the country that we want
to be a state known for honest, transparent, and accountable government.”

Blueprint Louisiana: “From Blueprint Louisiana’s perspective, the special legislative
session on ethics reform was indeed productive. As a result of the hard work of
lawmakers and the Jindal administration, we will have a state government that is more
accountable to the people and more transparent in its dealings than ever before.
Forthcoming national rankings on governmental ethics laws will show that Louisiana is
becoming a national model for ethics legislation – granting us an earned opportunity to
begin wiping away, once and for all, longstanding national perceptions about
Louisiana’s political environment.”

Baton Rouge Area Chamber: “Congratulations to everyone who has worked tirelessly
to transform Louisiana's image in this special session. Business executives nationwide
have said that Louisiana's reputation for government corruption is a significant deterrent
to our state's economic development efforts. That can no longer be the case. The
recent work by our governor, legislators, business and community groups and engaged
citizens makes a bold statement about the future of Louisiana.”


http://www.neworleanscitybusiness.com/uptotheminute.cfm?recid=15872&userID=0&referer=dailyUpdate
 

RJ in Lafayette

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And in today's New York Times, there was a major article about the ethics legislation passed under the website heading "LA GOVERNOR PIERCES BUSINESS AS USUAL."

A first step, but a major step.
 

triumph

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There was an earlier thread today, RJ, about the NT Times piece on the EE.

As a whole, you have to give the thumbs up to Jindal for what he is trying to do. Although, reading things like this doesnt surprise me: http://www.wafb.com/global/story.asp?s=7937167

"Invited guests is another loophole a mile wide to get around what has been done this particular session," Engster says. He says for example, if a lobbyist wants to take an entire committee out to dinner, the bill allows the lobbyist to spend $50 on each invited guest. "If only two of them show, then I've got $600 to spend on two." Lobbyists can spend more than $50 on themselves, and just share their meals with the legislators. Lobbyists can bring their own wine or liquor, pay a small cork fee, then drinks are free for the legislator. "Instead of special session, we'll have the session special (Ha, ha, ha!)," Engster laughs.
 

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