Policing the politicians; state ethics commissions lack muscle

By Caitlin Ginley

Underfunded, politically crippled commissions frequently do little more than slap wrists

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ethics":

"… ” McDonald said. “They want it to go away.”   …"

"… — but it has initiated just 18 investigations through 2010.The Tennessee Ethics Commission, also established in 2006, has yet to find anyone guilty of an …"

"… e complaints in five years — and thrown all of them out.The Pennsylvania Ethics Commission takes in between 400 and 600 complaints each year. But severe b …"

"… vestigators to handle the workload.And last year, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission had its full-time support staff reduced from two people to one. …"

Lobbying laws in the states

By Neil Gordon

A round-up of lobbying laws that have recently been enacted or changed

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitch Daniels":

"… House committee passed a bill imposing a one-year cooling-off period. Gov. Mitch Daniels, by executive order, has already established a one-year waiting period for …"

Watchdogs on short leashes

By Kenneth Vogel and Leah Rush

For most legislatures, ethics enforcement is an in-house affair; for the rest, agencies that oversee them are kept on a short leash

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… many states, the process is still further removed from public scrutiny. In Georgia, where the legislative ethics committees trump the state ethics commission …"

"… oesn't happen often, according to Theodore Lee, executive secretary of the Georgia Ethics Commission.Lee laughed when asked if the members of the state's sta …"

"… n legislative committees, legislators in many states do not seem convinced.Georgia's Lee told the Center that lawmakers in his state have not even discussed …"

Oklahoma

By The Center for Public Integrity

A snapshot of ethics practices in Oklahoma

Excerpts from this story referencing "Oklahoma":

"… rchase the reference, visit www.cogel.org. …"

"… disclosure and campaign finance disclosure for members of the legislature.Oklahoma is one of 9 states that waited until the 1980s or the 1990s to established …"

"… that cover ethics and disclosure, plus nine that cover disclosure only — Oklahoma is one of 12 where the legislature appoints at least one commission member …"

"… husetts — have members picked without the input of the legislature.BudgetOklahoma is among 10 states that did not approve a budget for its ethics agency exc …"