Sunday, June 26, 2005

Watchdog needed ...

We'll take a one-day break in my story on "Edwin and me" in order to cover breaking news. Today’s title comes from an email from C.B. Forgotston, pointing out a legislative end run as the session ended. He concludes:

“Of course, this is merely an academic discussion until LA has a public interest litigation group that is willing to challenge such matters in court. Otherwise, everything passed the lege is presumed to be done so in compliance with our constitution.

WHERE ARE THE CURRENT "WATCHDOGS" to which the media daily refers?”

At the state level, the C.B. Think Tank is my major source of information of when the leges fail to read the laws that supposedly govern them.

PAR seems to be at work, and maybe if I read the Baton Rouge newspaper I would have a better idea of how they view the goings on. Others, like LABI and ACLU, have more limited agendas. The Times-Pic often has the information we need in the fine print, and editorializes for good government occasionally.

Public opinion expert Susan Howell (in the spirit of full disclosure, she is my wife) suggests that casual observers, which seems to describe LA voters, may view this as the worst legislative session in memory. I know there’s more to these votes than these convenient labels, but they seem anti-teacher and anti-nutrition, pro-cigarettes and pro-slush funds.

In many cases, I suspect that their term-limited lame-duck status has allowed them to drop any pretense of public service and bend to favored interests. Those who are charged with making this a better state are sneaking in pay raises and insurance breaks.

So if that is how legislator’s without accountability act, what methods do we have to stop them? Certainly, C.B.’s call for a public litigation group to step forward is in the finest American tradition. Is there a group that we can get behind? What else can we do to express our outrage?

There seem to be more questions than answers. Let's hear your opinion.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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