While I was disappointed the House Ethics Committee didn’t even slap Rep. Eric Turner’s wrist for his behavior surrounding the failed nursing home moratorium, I was surprised and pleased the committee report admitted that our Legislature’s ethics rules and statutes are too lax.
Allowing legislators to draw their own districts is like the NBA allowing the home team to hire its own officials; it would be an obvious conflict of interest that would discredit the process and lead to unfair play. That’s why redistricting reform tops Common Cause Indiana’s legislative agenda and why I’m pleased that the House took action early this session by passing House Bill 1032.<
One of the most controversial proposals to emerge at the 2013 General Assembly has resurfaced as the topic of a summer study committee. Late last month, the Interim Study Committee on Economic Development focused on ag gag legislation that would make it a crime to expose illegal, inhumane or unsafe conditions at factory farms in Indiana.
With the controversial verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, attention has returned to the stand-your-ground law that was so central to the defense’s case. Attention has also returned to a key group behind the adoption of stand-your-ground laws in Florida and two dozen other states, including Indiana.
Common Cause founder John Gardner once said, “We share the conviction that as citizens we have every right to raise hell when we see injustice done, or the public interest betrayed, or the public process corrupted.”
In these pages last fall, I complained about gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence playing politics with the implementation of federal health reform. Unfortunately, now that he’s been elected governor, the game-playing continues and uninsured Hoosiers continue to be pawns in Pence’s game with federal officials.
When I first met Mike Pence back in the mid-1990s, he was working as a radio and TV talk show host in Indianapolis. I was a guest on his public affairs program many times and came to know the future governor as an affable and evenhanded host who made room for all points of view while clearly stating his own.
With Republican super-majorities in both Statehouse chambers and a newly elected governor eager to make his mark on state government, the upcoming legislative session could get controversial real fast.