Sunday, May 04, 2008

Of Louisiana Ethics ...

An article from AP via the Seattle Times:

New ethics rules touted by Gov. Bobby Jindal as a hallmark of his young administration actually make it harder to prove violations, a government watchdog group said Wednesday.

Lawmakers approved Jindal's legislation during the first of two special sessions he called soon after taking office in January. Jindal repeatedly decried Louisiana's corrupt image during his election campaign.

The problem, according to the nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, is in the wording of one bill: While existing law requires "reliable and substantial" evidence of wrongdoing in an ethics case, the bill that takes effect Aug. 15 requires a higher, "clear and convincing" standard in ethics cases.

The change will require the gathering of more evidence and could require the re-evaluation of cases now being investigated, the council said.

"It is clear is that this change will slow the prosecution of ethics cases already in the works, likely create a backlog of investigations and discourage violators from admitting guilt when they think the evidence of their offense is slim," the council said.

Critics of the administration have raised questions about the new language in recent weeks. Jindal, asked about the criticism Wednesday before the report's release, said he was not convinced there was a problem.

"I'm not an attorney," he told reporters. "My understanding is there is some disagreement between the ethics board and some of those members and our attorneys about what the appropriate standards should be."

Jindal said those concerned about the issue should make their case to legislators, who are now meeting in regular session. But, he said, he would veto anything that he believes weakens the new ethical standards.

The new ethics legislation included a host of lobbying restrictions, income-reporting requirements for public officials and bans on officials' contracts with government.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Anonymous Sean Leavy said...

What Ails America?
By: Sean Leavy
America is slowly slipping away from its high and powerful state. More and more, Americans have become concerned with the future of the nation. The issues of the state of the economy, the Presidential election, and the Iraq war constantly ail America and have caused fear to spread throughout the country.
It is difficult to come to terms with it, but America is in a recession. In the past months the housing market has crashed and the Federal Reserve has cut interests rates. The price of gas has also increased astronomically since the summer of 2007. The increase in gas prices has caused Americans to decrease the amount of spending in other areas, and has made it more difficult for them to buy other materials they need to survive. The hardest effect the degrading economy has had on the nation is the increase in food prices. Many Americans could barely afford to buy enough food to feed their family before the increase in prices, but now the increase in prices has made it even more difficult to buy what they need to feed their family.
At the end of 2008, history will be made with the results of the Presidential election. Many Americans are nervous as to the results of the election. They fear the nation’s responses if an African American or women are elected President. Many people throughout the nation oppose having the country run by either. There is also the fear in America, that the extremists will take action against any President that is not the traditional elderly, white man. They fear of an assassination or attack against the newly elect, because they do not fit the normal tradition.
With the result of a new President, many fear the future of the war in Iraq. Ever since the war started, there has been massive protest and opposition throughout the nation. When the new President is elected, many people will fear the effect of their policy if they choose to pull out, or remain in Iraq. If the President supports staying in the war, many people will continue to fear the war and protest because of how many soldiers are being killed and how little of progress has been made. If the President supports pulling out, many fear of what will happen to the country and the future of the terrorists, and the chances of more attacks. In general, most Americans fear that if the country pulls out of Iraq greater conflict could be caused.
Today, fear runs rampant throughout the country. The economy, the Presidential election, and the war in Iraq cause the fear that ails the country. The future of the United States is not known, but with the current fears, it does not look very promising.

3:56 PM  

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