Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Idaho Ethics

Today the Idaho Statesman has an editorial about Closing holes in Idaho's ethic laws. Using the example of Popkey's report on a recent case of bribery by a lobbyist for the Idaho Association of Realtors, the editorial suggests that firming up the ethic laws in our state is definitely necessary. The Statesman then mentions how Eagle Republican Rep. Raul Labrador is "working on a bill that would make it a felony offense to offer financial benefits in exchange for a public action." Then the article adds, "The idea deserves bipartisan support, albeit belatedly."

Wow, that was gutsy. And it ignores the fact that the Democrats already had included ethics legislation in their caucus agenda of bills. Indeed, Senator Kate Kelly has been working on ethics reform since 2005! But now the Statesman is interested in ethics because a Republican has come forward? Where has the Statesman been for the past four years? Why are they allowing the Republicans to co-opt an issue that the Democrats have been pursuing for years? And what do they mean to insinuate by the phrase "the idea deserves bipartisan support, albeit belatedly," that it's about time the Republicans began to pay attention to ethics, or is the writer suggesting that the Democrats have been ignoring this problem as well? It's bad enough that the Republicans like to co-opt Democrat issues when it suits them, but why doesn't the Statesman at least provide some fair and accurate reporting?

Another Statesman blunder: they correctly reported that the Republicans rejected their own pay raises, but they FORGOT to mention that the Democrats did the same LAST DECEMBER in a caucus press release. Wow, it seems to me that perhaps the Statesman should have a review session on its own sense of ethics....

1 comment:

Julie Fanselow said...

Thanks for bringing this to wider attention. We have a hard battle to fight, not just with the Republicans but with the media who seem to feel that any time we bring up how the GOP is co-opting Democratic ideas, we're being whiny and petulant!

The GOP has long felt free - since the Democrats have so little power - to take our best ideas and claim them as their own, confident that voters will never know. Thanks for helping to change that - though the biggest change will need to come at the ballot box in 2010, when Idaho voters decide they've had enough of this and bring two-party balance back to our state.