Monday, April 14, 2008

Ethics reform: fast track to nowhere

From today's Courant editorial on Hartford's failure to revoke pensions of corrupt officials. Last week:

Ms. Rell and Senate President Donald Williams had announced a "historic" bipartisan agreement just hours before it fell apart.

Thankfully though, the...

agreement was not to be. Senate Republicans, led by John McKinney of Fairfield, refused to sign on to the measure on grounds that the pension revocation portion had been watered down.

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, got ahead of themselves in anticipating that the bill would become law without first obtaining the support of the Democrat-controlled House, which, according to Speaker James Amann of Milford, is split over the idea of pension revocation. Some members want it, some don't and others want to extend revocation to corrupt officials who were sentenced as far back as 10 years ago.

The failure to move forward on the ethics reform law makes Connecticut's lawmakers look foolish at best and deceitful at worst. We expect that in the light of day they will see that getting the measure back on track is in the state's best interests.

I'm not sure why the Courant mentions "the light of day," but I know that without shining light on various political issues... oftentimes politicians will hide behind strawmen or other deceitful tactics in an effort to avoid allowing the public to know their true motivations.

As I've said before, we need real ethics reform... including:

1) subpoena power for state's attorneys and

2) revocation of pensions for corrupt officials (not withstanding the Constitutional issues of "ex post facto" laws)

Tim White

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