Ethically Challenged

More evidence that many state legislators don't get it when it comes to ethics reform. In a Charlotte Observer article Sunday by Jack Betts about ethics reform, Drew Saunders was quoted as worried that a bill "treats legislators like dirt".

Pryor Gibson gets it. He understands the problem and frames it in a way that clearly makes some legislators burn.

"The perception is that we are down here and we are for sale and lobbyists are buying us," the Anson County Democrat said Thursday during debate on an ethics reform bill. Gibson went on to say it's not true that lawmakers are for sale, but that's the public perception nonetheless.

But Drew Saunders still doesn't get it. Saunders gained notoriety earlier this year for his comment that:

"Even baby Jesus accepted gifts and I don't believe it corrupted him".

Drew Saunders, chair of the House Public Utilities Committee, accepted two $4,000 contributions from the Bellsouth NC PAC in the primary cycle of the 2004 elections. The first 8/29/03 was reported by the Saunders campaign and the PAC. The second 7/20/04, primary day, was reported by the Saunders campaign but was never reported by the Bellsouth NC PAC.

The Video Services Competition Act eliminates local franchising of cable television service and opens the market to Bellsouth and other providers without current assurances on programming and service. The bill, questioned by Attorney General Roy Cooper, awaits approval of the Senate, having passed the House after Saunders fought off amendments which would ensure video service in poor or remote communities.

Paul Stam doesn't get it either. Stam revised proposed ethics reform to favor lobbyists.

A late change in lobbying reform legislation removed a provision that would have barred lobbyists from campaign fund raising. Rep. Paul Stam, an Apex Republican, drew up the amendment, which also dropped a ban on lobbyists making campaign contributions

If Saunders, Stam, Jim Black and any other legislator, Democrat or Republican, want respect they and lobbyists need to stop treating state election laws like dirt. Progressive Democrats are tired of the foot dragging on ethics reform.


In a nutshell

Perfect summary of the dilemma, Greg. Respect is earned . . . or not.


Is Saunders being challenged this year?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Oh my God...

he's a Dem. I'm so utterly ashamed of my party right now. A dem from Mecklenburg...

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

The story behind the story

The bill passed with only 3 votes against because no one wanted to be on record as voting against lobbying reform. But if you really want to know who's interested in reform, look at the vote on Saunders’ amendment reducing the revolving door period from 1 year to 6 months. There the split was 63 ayes and 43 noes, with NO being the vote for integrity.

Here are the legislators who voted the right way on this:

Representative(s): Alexander; Allen, L.; Allred; Almond; Black (SPEAKER); Blackwood; Blust; Bordsen; Capps; Coates; Coleman; Current; Dickson; Dollar; Eddins; Fisher; Folwell; Frye; Gibson; Gillespie; Glazier; Goodwin; Grady; Hackney; Harrell; Harrison; Holloway; Howard; Insko; Jeffus; Justice; Justus; Luebke; Martin; McComas; McGee; McLawhorn; Rapp; Rhodes; Ross; Setzer; Sherrill; Underhill; Warren; Weiss; West

An odd assortment of progressives and conservatives on this one. Even some of the Puppets are apparently in favor of integrity in government. Go figure.

The sad thing is, legislators know that newspapers don't report amendment votes, just the final tally on the bill itself.

Here's the roll-call on the Saunders amendment.

A comment worthy of the "Boar's Head"

"Even baby Jesus accepted gifts and I don't believe it corrupted him".

Hal: Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.

More ethically challenged legislators

The Charlotte Observer reports today on Ethics Reform stumbling over ethically challenged State Senators.

Legislators balk at wording in ethics bill

"We can't vote for this kind of stuff," said Sen. David Hoyle, a Gaston County Democrat. "It will do irreparable damage to this institution."

It is little wonder that Hoyle opposes these measures.

In September 2004 Hoyle accepted $1,000 from US LEC PAC which is not registered as a PAC in North Carolina.

Hoyle incorrectly listed The Yarborough Group (lobbying firm) as employer for a 9 separate contributions by payday lenders on his 2003 Year end Campaign Finance report.

It's so much easier when lobbyists handle these things for you.

Give me a break

There is strong evidence that the candidate you support is guilty of GS 14-221.1 and you feel you can speak to ethics reform? Give me a break.

Steve -

This thread is two years old.

Don't feed the trolls.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Grrrr. :(

This is getting really, really old.

check yer inbox Steve

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

I got nothin'.

My last PM received is from mid-November.

This keeps happening.

Well, what I said was that I didn't realize that Greg's post was two years old either, but that I'm likewise sorry for feeding the troll, as Linda put it.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Ohh, that pm.


Just kidding. I wouldn't do you like that.

Senators jeer ethics plan

The Raleigh News & Observer picked up this story also with Ethics reform odds slipping: Some senators jeer House plan

"We need ethics reform, folks," said Sen. Jerry Tillman, an Archdale Republican, "but we don't need something no one can comply with."

It seems the people who oppose stronger ethics laws are those who can't comply with the existing laws.

Tillman incorrectly reported employment information for two payday contributors to his campaign in Dec 2004.

From Joe Sinsheimer's Payday Complaint to the SBOE:

The Tillman Committee falsely reported the employer information for Dennis James who gave $500 on December 30, 2004. The Tillman Committee reported James’ employer/profession as “Self-employed/Developer”. James is the president of Purpose Solutions, a subsidiary of payday lender CompuCredit.

The Tillman Committee falsely reported the employer information for Jerry Robinson who gave $500 on December 30, 2004. The Tillman Committee reported Robinson’s employer/profession as “Self-employed/Realtor.” Robinson is an executive with CompuCredit.

Hoyle spill, send clean-up crew

Hoyle still doesn't get it. In 2006 2nd Quarter Reports just filed with the Sate Board of Elections Hoyle reported $4,000 from Bellsouth PAC 5/2/06 and another $4,000 5/10/06 which is the day after the session started.
Jim Black reported $4,000 from the PAC 5/9/06, the day the session started.
Marc Basnight reported $4,000 from the PAC 5/8/06, the day before.

Hoyle spill

Good one.

Hoyle spill-over

Houle's son, David, was recently the subject of an ethical complaint for failing to disclose his interest in two dams directly connected to an entity petitioning the agency.

Despite the fact that NC Ethics law requires commissioners to disclose their interests in any of the matters pending before the Commission, Hoyle neglected to do this when speaking on behalf of passing the rule requested by the entity to which he sold all the power from those dams.

The employee who pointed out that Hoyle's rationale for supporting the rule was not supported by the agency's statutory authority was fired within days of stating her concern in writing.

All of this is documented in articles published by the Charlotte Observer, the Raleigh News and Observer, and the October issue of North Carolina Sportsmen Magazine.

The same employee had been warned by Hoyle in an earlier episode in which he had objected to one of his buddies getting a ticket from the Wildlife Resources Commission's enforcement division: "I was raised in politics and I know how it is done. In the good old days, we'd have that officer writing tickets in Dismal Swamp." When the employee responded that she was glad that we were no longer in the "good old days" because WRC appreciated its officers doing their jobs, Hoyle responded, "Maybe someone needs to remind your officers who controls their budget."

Nice. Nice guy.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke