Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Hilly boy never talks about this

I'm pretty sure Hilly boy has absolutely nothing to do with the proposed ethics reform in Tennessee's government because he is dependent on shady partnerships.

According to Tre Hargett (who has recieved plenty of Gregory $ himself) the House Republican Caucus leadership announced a set of “first steps” toward comprehensive ethics standards that will address legislator, lobbyist and campaign practices.

Leadership proposed six recommendations that will become part of a larger, more exhaustive package of ethics reform legislation to be presented before the House and Senate in this 104th General Assembly. The six points discussed included:

1. The Revolving Door: Legislators should not be permitted to lobby the General Assembly or the administration for one year after leaving the Legislature. This models the ethical standards in place for members of the United States Congress. Similar statutes are currently in place in 27 states.

2. Increased Reporting Requirements for Statements of Interest: Legislators should be required to disclose a specific company as place of employment, its address and the type of income received over $200, including salaried employment and professional services. Legislators should also be required to list positions, including non-paid, held outside of state government. Such stipulations, which are modeled after federal guidelines, allow citizens to rest assured that outside income is not unduly influencing legislators’ judgment on the issues.

3. Prohibition of Contingency Fees: Lobbyists should be prohibited from receiving fees and bonuses based upon successful support of or opposition to particular legislation. In addition to being a national standard, 37 states also prohibit contingency fees in order to assuage improper influence by a lobbyist on a public official. The proposal includes a requirement for a signed statement by each client indicating that no contingency fees are paid.

4. Deny Placement of Lobbyists on State or Local Government Committees, Boards, Agencies or Commissions: Lobbyists, who are currently designated and defined by the Tennessee Code Annotated as compensated and required to register with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, should be prohibited from serving on any state or local government committee, board, agency or commission. Such positions should be reserved for citizens who are able to offer a more objective analysis of issues without excessive influence by a legislator.

5. Legislators Must Live in their District: In order to qualify to run for office, a candidate must have legal residence in the district which he or she is seeking to represent. This mirrors a proposal brought before Georgia’s General Assembly to require that candidates may not list their place of residence as a structure or building primarily used for commercial and business purposes.

6. Additional Campaign Financial Disclosures: Candidates should be required to provide an additional financial disclosure due at the beginning of early voting. Political Action Committees should also be prohibited from contributing financially to a candidate during early voting. This allows voters to more confidently discern a candidate’s funding sources prior to voting.

Personally, I would like #1 to be extended to 2 years. On #2, we all know that Hilly boy's outside income is unduly influencing his so called judgment on issues. On #3, Hilly boy has to be steaming that his next job will no longer have contingency fees. It is about time on #4. I would like #5 better if the candidate had to live in the district for a minium of 2 years. This would cut down on carpet baggers like Hilly boy. I know #6 is not a Hilly boy favorite because he hid his funding report for as long as possible, even getting in late if I remember correctly. It was no accident, that is for sure.

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