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.
Now that April has arrived, it’s time for spring cleaning. Let’s hope the growing stink surrounding state Rep. Eric Turner prompts the General Assembly to begin a cleanup of its own.
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.
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.
Forget red states versus blue states. The color best representative of the 2012 election is green, as in greenbacks. The election was not only the most expensive in our nation’s history at $6 billion spent, but it also shattered the record by more than $700 million. More than 1,000 Super PACs were formed and they spent at least $970 million, much of it on negative television ads and direct mail.
While it is easy to see the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case, since corporate-sponsored political ads have dominated our airwaves for months, it is much more difficult for voters to determine exactly who is paying for these ads.
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the vast majority of the Affordable Care Act, it threw a curveball to politicians like Gov. Daniels and Mike Pence, who were counting on the court killing the implementation of national health reform.
The mapping software provides all the tools.
Full disclosure isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good business.
All the ethics and disclosure laws on the books won’t make much difference if they are not aggressively and fairly enforced.
Lawson has more than just the image problem to work on.
The mind-set seems to be that these are individual transgressions.