Ethics Initiative

It's been a little while, friends. I'm writing now from Breckenridge, where I and most of City Council is attending the Colorado Municipal League’s annual meeting and conference. Today I attended a useful session on economic development and another on ethics in government.

One of the speakers at the ethics panel described a statewide initiative aimed at cleaning up some of the biggest problems at the state legislature. Colorado Common Cause is leading the initiative effort, known as the Ethics in Government Initiative, which would have three major components:

1) The initiative bans gifts from lobbyists to state legislators. Right now there are no limits on such gifts, and in 2005 lobbyists and others gave over $300,000 worth of meals, sports tickets, tickets to cultural events, and other gifts to legislators.

2) The initiative requires that state legislators wait at least two years after finishing their service as elected representatives before becoming a lobbyist. Right now there are no such restrictions, and in fact state legislators can apply for and negotiate lucrative lobbying jobs while still holding public office and making decisions that affect their potential new clients.

3) The initiative would create an independent ethics commission for the state legislature to prevent the inherent conflict that occurs when some state legislators are forced to evaluate ethics complaints against other state legislators.

I am supporting the initiative.

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2 Responses to “Ethics Initiative”

  1. Golden Voices » Blog Archive » Colorado Municipal League Annual Meeting and Conference Says:

    […] I already wrote a bit about the climate change panel, and I wrote a bit about the Ethics in Government Initiative, one of the subjects discussed during the panel on ethics. […]

  2. Colorado Municipal League Annual Meeting and Conference « Jacob Smith for Golden Says:

    […] already wrote a bit about the climate change panel, and I wrote a bit about the Ethics in Government Initiative, one of the subjects discussed during the panel on […]

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