**Exclusive** from Chad E. Rogers, at The Dead Pelican
APRIL 29, 2007 XXXX 20:39:31 PM CDT
For those longing for good government in Louisiana, the upcoming legislative session could be one of the most important in Louisiana history. One of the toughest battles will involve good government and ethics reform proposals put out by the new group called LA ETHICS 1 (see web site HERE.)
The good-government group has proposed TEN NEW BILLS (six in the house, and four in the senate) which, if passed, will make Louisiana's ethics laws #1 in the country, according to a person affiliated with the group. (For an overview of the LA ETHICS 1 reform package for the legislative session 2007, go here.)
Stephen Moret of the Baton Rouge area chamber tells THE DEAD PELICAN that no legislator will want to go on record voting against any of these "good government" measures.
In order to ensure that they won't have to go on record as voting against good government, Moret predicts that there may be a concerted effort to KILL THESE GOOD GOVERNMENT BILLS in committee! Stephen Moret tells THE DEAD PELICAN that at the time of this writing, the fate of much needed ethics reform lies in the hands of the following committees and legislators:
Senate & Governmental Affairs Committee:
Senator Charles D. "C.D." Jones, Chairman-- firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Reggie P. Dupre, Jr. , Vice Chairman-- email@example.com
Senator Noble E. Ellington-- firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Cleo Fields-- email@example.com
Senator Robert "Rob" Marionneaux, Jr.-- firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Derrick Shepherd-- email@example.com
Senator J. Chris Ullo-- firstname.lastname@example.org
House & Governmental Affairs Committee:
Lancaster, Jr., Charles D., Chairman-- email@example.com
Representative Richard "Rick" Gallot, Jr. , Vice Chairman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jeffery "Jeff" J. Arnold -- email@example.com
Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Juan A. LaFonta -- email@example.com
Representative Charmaine L. Marchand-- firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Billy Wayne Montgomery-- email@example.com
Representative M.J. "Mert" Smiley, Jr.-- firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY ETHICS REFORM?
Moret tell [sic] THE DEAD PELICAN that when business leaders around the country are asked why they steer clear of Louisiana, they cite "corruption" as the #1 reason. And the corruption is due to Louisiana's lax ethics laws, a problem which LA ETHICS 1 is seeking to remedy, if their legislation is not killed in committee.
"Incremental change is not enough," says Moret. "We want to best ethics laws in the country, fast."
Moret notes that Louisiana has a dismal reputation nationally for its current ethics laws.
The non-partisan BGA (Better Government Association) currently ranks Louisiana near the bottom at #46.
The non-partisan CPI (Center for Public Integrity) ranks Louisiana near the bottom at #44.
The goal of the package proposed by LA ETHICS 1 is to make Louisiana's ethics laws "the best in the country," Moret told THE DEAD PELICAN Sunday.
Monday, May 09, 2007, will be the first day that these bills come up, Moret told THE DEAD PELICAN Sunday evening.
THE DEAD PELICAN will be tracking these proposals carefully, and keeping you informed of their progress.