Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why do we need ethics reform?


Do we need it because another State official has been accused or convicted of illegal behavior?

That happens all the time in Albany and has been happening for a long time and will be happening for a long time.  The very fact that they are accused and convicted is the proof the present laws are working we don't need ethics reforms to fix the laws WE NEED MORE PREET'S to enforce them.

What is the rationale for more ethics reform?  That a change in the laws will prevent the behavior?

That's complete bullshit.  Will just one public official come forward and admit that the bribery statutes are the reason they don't take bribes . . . please just one I'd like to know who this corrupt but completely rational individual is.  Because whomever it is we need more of them.  They are honest about there ethical deficiencies and rational enough not to act on them for fear of punishment under our existing system.  So who are you? step forward.  You are the one public official for whom "ETHICS REFORM" will work.  The rest are either so honest they would never consider doing something unethical (although one wonders why they never reported any of there brethren for corruption) or so corrupt and irrational they think they can get away with it.  Neither group needs "ETHICS REFORM"  It's wasted on them and just gives the public a false sense that things are going to get  better, they won't.  We have had at least 4 separate "ETHICS REFORM" in the last 8 years and arrests and convictions are increasing not decreasing.  The vast majority of them as a result of aggressive federal prosecutors not "ETHICS REFORM" nor state regulators nor state prosecutors.  Once again this is the proof the present laws are working we don't need ethics reforms to fix the laws WE NEED MORE PREET"S to enforce them.

Recently the State Senate IDC (is it me or does that sound like a supermarket . . . for corruption) released it's plan for "ETHICS REFORM" and Senator Klein (will someone please make him the leader of something, anything at this point) announced that he would be leaving his law practice.  Once you get past the obvious grandstanding effect can you please explain why you are leaving your practice Jeff, and presumably foregoing outside income?  I know it's part of your "ETHICS REFORM" to eliminate outside income but why?  Did you engage in some type of Silver or Bruno type corruption in your practice? Did you have clients that benefitted from your public office?  If so fess up and go straight to jail, while you are a small fish I'm sure Preet wouldn't throw you back . . . he might use you as bait but he won't throw you back.  But if you were just practicing law unrelated to holding public office what is the harm in maintaining your practice and outside income?  Oh I know it's the Caesar's wife syndrome you think it is an appearance issue, the public will lose faith in you if you have outside income.  On this point I must respectfully disagree.  I think it's the exact opposite.  I have more faith in elected officials that are sharp enough to earn a substantial living from there talents outside politics.  The lawyers, doctors, dentists, landscapers, investment bankers, hair stylists, plumbers, consultants, businessmen and women and any other profession an elected official has that results in outside income without the use of their official position.  Those are the people I want making decisions for me about the budget, the safe act, common core, same sex marriage, charter schools and all the other issues the three men in the room decide on.  Not the elected official who has no other talent than living in a district where he or she can run unopposed or getting into office as a result of being part of the lucky sperm club and trading on family connections or just by being photogenic enough in this political climate to appeal to the below average voter.

On this point ask yourself who do you want as an elected official, the party hack who can't earn a living doing anything else and has credit card debt so high s/he needs to claim per diems to pay their bills or a successful professional that is a part time legislator with substantial outside income from work that does not derive from holding public office?  Give me the smart guy or gal you can keep the public official that can't make a better living doing anything else.

And on that point, when Mr. Klein suggests a full time legislature make sure to ask him why a full time legislature needs to be paid more?  Most legislators are lucky to have the job they have.  They can't make a better living and if they could they would be reporting more outside income.  And for those that say they are already full time and that s why they don't have outside income . . . good for you but why should we give you a raise you have already decided to work for the posted salary stop complaining about your pay or get a different job, there are plenty of talented people in your district that will do what you do for the same or less money.

As always it's not "ETHICS REFORM" we need it's a higher quality public official . . both in terms of integrity and talent.

When it comes to "ETHICS REFORM" someone should write a book, collect a big payment from a subsidiary of a lobbying client and pass laws that benefit that company . . . of course without PREET we would have to rely on "ETHICS REFORM" and the Jeff Klein's of the Albany system to insure pure motives.

Good Luck with that "ETHICS REFORM" . . . again.  Me? I'll put my faith in the smart talented ethical public officials and of course PREET.

From now on it's IN PREET WE TRUST.

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