Friday, August 15, 2008

"The Next Cheney"

Today is Bobby Jindal Day over at the DNC. The Next Cheney campaign is designed to ensure accurate media representation of potential John McCain veep picks.

Democrats have made the wise choice not to cede ethics reform to Governor Jindal.

Were you aware that 10 of 11 members of the LA Board of Ethics have resigned?

Jindal offered that the resignations resulted from new required financial disclosures demanded of board members. The sole remaining board member disagreed:

Ethics Board member Dr. Cedric Lowrey, of Alexandria, said the Legislature and Jindal’s taking away of board powers to decide cases of ethics violations was “a major factor in many members’ resignations.”

That's interesting. What happened there?

From the Daily Comet:


The board cannot assemble a quorum, or the majority necessary to conduct a meeting. And that means the board cannot fulfill its primary task: ruling in ethics cases.

That duty will be passed over to administrative-law judges starting August 15 -- at least until the Ethics Board posts can be refilled by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

The confusion, in large part, stems from the vague use of the term "authority" in the law. The law says members of boards that have the "authority" to spend or invest $10,000 or more must file the tougher ethics reports.

But parish councils, which appoint many of the smaller boards’ members, generally have the ultimate say on how local boards spend tax dollars. So no one can confirm whether members of smaller boards are the actual "authority" over those dollars.


Thus "confusion" over inarticulate attempts to improve ethics law has ultimately produced a completely gutted ethics board and the power to rule in ethics cases is now firmly in the hand of state administrative law judges.

Here's a stunning visual aide, from the Louisiana Board of Ethics site:

Louisiana Board of Ethics and
The Supervisory Committee for Campaign Finance


Vacant
Chairman

Vacant
Vice-Chairman

Vacant

Vacant

Vacant

Vacant

Vacant

Dr. Cedric Lowrey

Alexandria, Louisiana

Vacant

Vacant

Vacant


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