If John Hood is the Darth Vader of North Carolina, then Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch is Luke Skywalker - a good guy all around, smart, progressive, and in the know. If you're not reading his stuff regularly, you should be. His commentary on the three-ring ethics circus in the NC legislature is not to be missed.
If you are keeping score, that’s backward progress on the three essential parts of meaningful reform; banning gifts from lobbyists, forbidding lobbyists from raising money and limiting how much they can contribute, and establishing an independent ethics commission.
It seems like every time a new version of the bill emerges, it is weaker than the version before. Senator Dan Clodfelter, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told spectators that it was all part of the legislative process.
Then he told reformers not to be worried, referring to them as “you Chicken Littles out there.” The sky may not be falling, but unless things change soon, it’s hard not to think that hopes for meaningful reform are.