Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ethics and your legislators ...

The Advocate had a couple of news briefs on ethics and our leges (C.B.'s term for legislators). The first shows their creativity in defeating the spirit of recent ethics rules, the second shows them approving the rules on executive branch appointees.

Legislators help raise funds for caucus

Legislators can't hold fund-raisers for their own election campaigns while they are in session, but they can still do some fundraising for their favorite caucuses.

The State Democratic and Republican legislative caucuses have had their traditional annual fund-raisers.

Now comes the year-old Louisiana Sportsmen's Caucus, which on Tuesday hosts a skeet and trap shoot at the Hunters Run Gun Club. The caucus, which advocates for sportsmen, is joining with its congressional counterpart to host the event.

The event has sponsorship levels ranging from $250 to $2,500. Guns, ammo and clays are provided as well as food and beverages.

Caucus co-chairmen are Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth; Sen. Robert Barham, R-Oak Ridge; Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday; and Rep. Tom McVea, R-St. Francisville.

Executive-branch lobbying rules OK'd

State ethics officials have gotten the final legislative approval for rules implementing the new law requiring lobbyists to report how much they spend trying to influence the governor and others in the executive branch of government.

The rules will be published in the June 20 State Register. Lobbyists must start filing reports on Aug. 15.

A July 22 seminar is also scheduled at ethics headquarters "to help people out if they want our help" if they still have questions, ethics lawyer Kathleen Allen said.

The Legislature approved the new disclosure requirement at the insistence of Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who wanted to instill confidence in the way the state does its business.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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