As political corruption and scandals linger under the Capitol Dome, the Democrat-controlled Legislature pushed through a partisan measure in the final hour of the fall veto session giving them more power in the ethics reform process.
In an effort to make it look as though they are working to fix the government corruption issues plaguing the Statehouse, Democrats passed a measure creating a commission to discuss potential ethics reform measures, said Sen. McConchie. The issue I have with this commission is that its makeup is unbalanced, favoring Democrats ten to six. This is yet another instance Democrats are choosing partisan politics over integrity.
In response, Sen. McConchie joined his Senate Republicans colleagues in filing an amendment that would make the Commission balancedgiving equal voting power to Republicans and Democrats.
Under the Senate Republican amendment, which did not get a hearing, the appointees from the Attorney General and the Secretary of State would not have voting authority, ensuring each party has equal power on the Commission.
Under the passed measure, the Commission will be comprised of:
- 4 Democrat legislators (2 representatives, 2 senators)
- 4 Republican legislators (2 representatives, 2 senators)
- 2 members from the Office of the Attorney General appointed by the Attorney General
- 2 members from the Office of the Secretary of State appointed by the Secretary of State
- 4 members appointed by the Governor (2 Democrats and 2 Republicans)
For weeks, Republicans have been calling for true ethics reform, but in typical fashion, our proposals have not been given consideration, said Sen. McConchie. With the recent federal investigations into several legislators, the public has completely lost faith in the process in Springfield. This new, unbalanced commission will only reinforce their beliefs that the status quo will continue.