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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A gift of Oregon wine backfires

A California solar energy company is busted for pinot payola.

Comments (7)

We don't have those kind of lawmakers here.

You mean there is a state with honest lawmakers?

Oregon used to be that way, years ago...

One could argue that virtually every descision made by lawmakers is influenced to some degree by those with money.

It's against Hawaii law for legislators to accept a gift if it's obvious that the gift is meant to influence or reward the lawmaker.
JK: Child’s play.
Here is a small part of a real anti corruption law:

Unless absolutely necessary to render an effective decision, no elected or appointed city official shall participate as a decision-maker in any decision that is made at a public hearing and that is reasonably likely to result in a pecuniary benefit to any person or entity, if the business relationships, the family relationships, the campaign contributions, or the gifts disclosed in accordance with subsection (1) above would create the appearance of bias or impropriety in the mind of a reasonable person.

I would absolutely forbid participation in any decision that affects ANY special interest campaign donor of any amount.

Properly done, that would clean up a lot of Portland’s problems.


I'm assuming you're quoting Hawaii statutes here, Jim. Note that there has to be a "public hearing" for the decision, so there is not quite the full coverage that you envision - I could see the system being gamed to avoid a hearing. Otherwise, it's a pretty high standard to meet - note the words "appearance of bias or impropriety".

Here in Oregon, ORS 244.135 covers some of the same ground, but for reasons I don't understand, it only extends the requirement to Planning Commission members, not to elected officials and decision makers. That's something we really ought to fix.

John Rettig I'm assuming you're quoting Hawaii statutes here, Jim.

JK: Sorry, the link got dropped:
Of course this is Salem Oregon.

John Rettig That's something we really ought to fix.
JK: We need to fix it in a manner that COMPLETELY forbids voting on any item that benefits a campaign donor.


Are you overlooking ORS 244.120 or have you concluded that it's deficient in regulating actual and perceived conflicts of interest for public officials?

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