Posts tagged 2012
Posts tagged 2012
The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission today added lobbying data to its online searchable database. Paid lobbyists register with the Public Disclosure Commission before lobbying state government and file monthly reports disclosing their compensation, entertainment expenses, campaign contributions given, and other lobbying-related expenditures.
Before a bill signing ceremony Thursday, individual Iowans had few options for forcing public officials to turn over those public records. Citizens could call the county attorney or the state attorney general — but those attorneys seldom prosecuted even clear violations of those laws.
Citizens could contact the state’s Office of Citizens’ Aide/Ombudsman, but ombudsman staff didn’t have the authority to ensure compliance of the law. So, in far too many cases, open government disputes didn’t get resolved until someone had the time, money and determination necessary to file a lawsuit.
The Republican governor has been raising large sums in recent months because the normal limits on campaign donations do not apply from the time recall petitions are circulated until the accountability board orders a recall election to be held. That has allowed Walker to accept as much as $500,000 from one donor — 50 times the normal limit of $10,000.
Idaho expects, and allows, its 105 citizen legislators to police themselves — to write and enforce their own ethical guidelines.
And that’s one reason why the rules are so weak. It is unrealistic to expect lawmakers to write rules without thinking about what helps or hurts them. That’s why the Legislature has been slow to follow 47 other states that require lawmakers to disclose their finances.
Read the rest of the story at the Idaho Statesman.
If you want to enact change in your community, please e-mail your state’s report card to your officials. Reform efforts are already being made, so let your voice be heard!