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Ethics Jurisdiction Over Legislature Paired With a Legislative Role in Selecting Ethics Commission Members


A constitutional amendment to place state legislators under the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission is scheduled to come before the Senate Judiciary committee this afternoon, and Katherine Gregg wrote this morning in the Projo that Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed expects it to be voted on today.

According to the Projo story, the final version of the bill has not yet been unveiled. The version officially pending in the Senate offers a compromise to the legislature’s Ethics Commission skeptics* who are worried about ceding too much authority to an outside body; four members of the commission will be appointed by the Governor from lists created by General Assembly members…

Ethics commission composition. — The ethics commission shall be composed of nine (9) members appointed by the governor; provided, that the president of the senate, the minority leader of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the majority leader of the house of representatives, and the minority leader of the house of representatives shall each submit to the governor a list of names of at least five (5) individuals from which the governor shall appoint one individual from each of the lists so submitted, and four (4) individuals without regard to the lists submitted by the legislative leaders. The terms of service for the appointed members shall be as provided by law.

Two factors that likely account for the sudden re-appearance of ethics legislation at this time are…

  1. Rhode Island legislators in search of some kind of good-government achievement to talk about on the 2014 campaign trail, in the wake of the GA’s likely capitulation to Wall Street and the 38 Studios bondholders, and…
  2. The possibility of a standalone bill on this subject dampening public support for constitutional convention, by taking off of the table one of the most visible issues that can unite the people of Rhode Island versus the governing class.

(*However, I doubt that the new appointment process will do much to convince Ethics Commission skeptics amongst this blog’s contributors).

Self-Improvement for the Entitled

The latest atrocity committed by a maladjusted loser raises questions about the entitlement state and the questions that we’re teaching kids not to ask.

Rhode Islanders Killed Serving in Afghanistan and Iraq

Did Scott MacKay Misinterpret His Own Data?

RIPR’s Scott MacKay tries to make the case that just because all parts of Providence used the master lever in the last two elections, it’s not any specific district. Also interesting is that no one has made the case that it’s just one part of the state that uses it. It’s used in all parts of the state, but let’s take another look at the data. What happens in presidential election years compared to mid-term elections? How is the master lever used then?

Whom the Progressives Count as “We”

Mark Binder defines what “we, the people,” want, giving reason to fear that only folks who agree with him count as people.

Stepping into Progressives’ Harmful Propaganda

Samuel Bell’s op-ed in today’s Providence Journal is hard to take seriously, but it must be taken seriously, because its like is doing terrible harm to the people of Rhode Island.

Being Clear About the Cards with Government Bonds

Calls to be “prudent” and pay the 38 Studios bonds miss the cost of allowing schemes that trap responsible people into paying other people’s commitments to work.

38 Studios Repayment

About a month ago, I wrote here about whether the 38 Studios bondholders should be repaid. At the time, I didn’t think so. In part because I believed the insurance would cover it, but later found out the policy is held by the bond buyers, not the state. Also because it was a moral obligation [...]

38 Studios Bonds: Investors and the State Defrauding Taxpayers

Under the rationale being offered for repaying the 38 Studios “moral obligation” bonds, Rhode Islanders would be justified in believing that the General Assembly and the financial ratings agencies are guilty of fraud against them.

Surreal at the State House: Growth Bad for Business & Advantage Bad for RI Hospitality Members

In a State House system designed to keep people apathetic, legislators voice strange economic ideas while business advocates advocate against the interests of their members.

Defending a Property Tax Decrease

Video and reports from Tiverton’s financial town hearing show that one side wants to increase taxes when it doesn’t need to and the other side believes the people need a break.

The Point on Bundy v. BLM

Arguments that point to the government’s paper trail for its actions miss the point of what’s required for the American way of life and government to persist.

North Providence Economic Development as Another Government Boondoggle

A North Providence gym that was invited in and then shut down by local government illustrates the wisdom of avoiding economic activity where government’s role is overly strong.

Catholic School Parents Demand Banning of Disliked Worldview: Catholicism

The secular and radical movement of separatists and censors has spread even to the point of demanding banishment of Catholic priests from Catholic schools, if they fail to conform to the demands of popular culture.

38 Studios Bonds and Default

The 38 Studios bond buyers got an extremely high interest rate on the bonds because of the risk they took, and the state purchased insurance against the chance of default. But should we still repay the full amount of the bonds?

Dorr Was Cool, Until He Wasn’t

Steve Ahlquist has published a portion of the testimony he will be giving in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Senate Bill 2641, which is an attempt to revoke Rhode Island’s current Voter ID law. Calling upon the memory of “Governor” Thomas Dorr, Ahlquist writes: Arguably, next to Roger Williams, no Rhode Islander has [...]

Senator Harold Metts on Master Lever

Two things struck me today about the master lever bill and Senator Harold Metts’ words and actions. I wish I had an exact transcript but he made two comments about it that I will do my best to paraphrase and others are more than welcome to correct me if they have the exact words. He [...]