Oh Mo! The time has come. Take your last sip, turn on the lights and find your pants. The party is so oh-ver in Jeff City. After years and years of bad behavior, openly oogling the interns and too many shenanigans to count, the Governor has introduced comprehensive ethics reform.
You and I both know this shit is for real when the term “comprehensive” is thrown in. Get comfy Jeff City politicos cause you are getting grounded from the political party bus.
This is weird – I went to read the comprehensive ethics reform bill, but when I clicked on the pdf it just kept launching The Semisonic song “Closing Time”-
So what is included in the ethics reform bill?
From Governor Nixon’s website addressing the bill:
Banning all gifts from lobbyists – period. That means no more free meals for officeholders catered by special interests and no more special perks at lobbyists’ expense.
No more gifts? Christmas on Jeff City just got a whole lot more boring this year!
Shortening the legislative session. The purpose of a citizen-legislature is to ensure representatives and senators stay connected with their communities and the issues facing ordinary families. But the Missouri General Assembly is in session from January through May, nearly half of the year. Shortening the session will save taxpayers money, sharpen legislators’ focus while in Jefferson City and give them more time to spend living and working in their communities.
Shortening the legislative session?? Translation – go home and remind myself that I’m still married so I don’t hit on the interns.
Enhancing transparency. An accountable government is an accessible government. Ethics reform should formally ban the practice of holding legislative committee hearings during the session at private restaurants, country clubs, and other locations that are not accessible to the public.
Enhancing transparency – no more doing deals on the 18th hole. If the public can’t read it (and Aimee make fun of it on Twitter) then it didn’t happen.
Banning officeholders from hiring their fellow legislators as political consultants. This will rein in a practice that undermines transparency and compromises the integrity of the legislative process.
Sorry Charlie – no more hiring your BFF as your “consultant”.
Closing the revolving door by prohibiting legislators from serving as lobbyists for a reasonable cooling-off period after they leave office. Preventing lawmakers from cashing in on their public service directly after leaving office will help curb the outsized influence of special interests.
Sit down and cool off for a respectable period and then we will be happy to see you!
Enacting reasonable limitations on the campaign accounts of former officeholders. We need reasonable safeguards to prevent former officeholders from using the money left over in their campaign war chests to influence their former colleagues.
No more – SHOW ME THE MONEY!
CCreating a safer, healthier, more respectful working environment in the legislature. The behavior described in news accounts towards female interns and employees is unacceptable and appalling. The legislature must foster a healthy work environment, including establishing an ombudsman to oversee the internship program, requiring diversity and sexual harassment training for all officeholders, and strengthening codes of conduct for legislators and their staff.
Find a comfortable chair and settle in for hours of training. The stock video business just got super busy. Maybe if this blogging thing does work out, I can write scripts involving the “clueless boss and the inappropriate back rub scenario involving the young, female employee.”
But wait! One lawmaker says not so fast. A comprehensive ethics reform bill is just too big and incorporates too many ethics. Republican Justin Alferman says each one of these ethics should be broken out into their own bill and voted on separately.
“For him (Nixon) calling for comprehensive ethics reform, I do believe that if you tie all those things together that bill will die under its own weight,” said Alferman. “If you take each part of what he (Nixon) wants to accomplish and you make them into individualized bills, I think they have a better chance of passing than tying them into an omnibus bill. I’m not a big fan of omnibus legislation because it just gives people excuses to vote against the entire bill when there’s only one section that they don’t like.”
What do you think? Should Jeff City go comprehensive or individual bills?