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Times-Picayune

Approve ethics reform bill as it was intended

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Re: "The House just doesn't get it," Our Opinions, Feb. 22.

We agree wholeheartedly that Senate Bill 3 should be approved with its original intent, and that means that all elected officials -- and the governor's office -- should not receive free gifts from anyone.

Why should legislators get any freebies or perks at all? They were elected to serve the people, not themselves.

Why should legislators or any government official get free Saints and Hornets tickets, LSU Baseball Regionals ticket packages or suite passes for New Orleans Arena blockbuster concerts?

The watered-down, amended version of SB 3 approved by the House, which would allow elected officials and members of their immediate families to receive tickets to certain more costly events, is simply disingenuous and renders the bill essentially ineffective.

Citizens are demanding real and significant ethics reform. They want the gold standard of ethics laws: open, honest, transparent government, with no watered-down provisions or loopholes that allow for special treatment for the few.

Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans and LA Ethics 1, a statewide coalition of good government and civic organizations, representing thousands of Louisiana citizens, have voiced support for the highest standards of ethics legislation at the Capitol during this special session of the legislature.

This is our chance to get it right and to send a message to the nation that we are serious about good government in Louisiana.

We urge the Senate and any conference committee to reject the House amendments and to pass Senate Bill 3 as intended. If they do not, we urge Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto what is a shamefully flawed piece of legislation.


Ruthie Frierson

Chairman

Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans

New Orleans


 

September 2006