Watered-Down Ethics Bill Calls it "Politics As Usual"
March 06, 2007
Governor Palin said, "Today, the Senate considered amendments and passed SB 19, Senator French's ethics bill. The Governor's office requested that some amendments be offered today on the Senate Floor that would incorporate some measures from the Governor's ethics bill. All but one amendment was rejected by the Senate Majority Working Group on a straight-line caucus vote."
"I am very disappointed in the process," said Governor Palin. "My office, in conjunction with Dave Jones from the Department of Law, has worked hard and cooperatively to come up with meaningful and comprehensive ethics reform. As I stated earlier in the session, I do not have any pride in authorship but I can not just stand by allowing lip service to be paid to ethics reform while Alaskans stand to lose."
Governor Palin continued, "In one example, my office requested the Senate to adopt an amendment that would prevent executive branch employees from accepting any gift from a registered lobbyist. The amendment would not impact the legislature. I feel very strongly that if we are really going to clean things up, we must remove the ability of those individuals who are paid to influence decision makers from providing gifts. To not adopt the provision is absolutely outrageous."
"My hope was that the Senate Majority was following our lead in setting politics aside and doing what is best for Alaska," said Governor Palin. It appears today, some politicians are more interested in politics as usual."
Sen. Hollis French (D
Anchorage) is the prime sponsor for both ethics bills. "Every
legislator came to Juneau this year with ethics legislation as
one of their top priorities," said French. "Both bills
are a great example of good teamwork between the majority and
minority in the committee process."
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