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Thursday, February 15, 2007

No laugh track needed

Here's what happens when Oregon legislators blatantly violate the ethics laws: They're fined a big $150, which they can pay out of campaign funds.

Comments (16)

A small price to pay for such a valuable lesson.

I guess next time, the beer and wine guy can just offer to cover the fines with campaign contributions.

"All roads lead to Mr. Romain."

At least we get a good laugh line out of it. How clever. All roads lead to Rome, I mean, Romain.

TOTALLY off the hook is Rick Metzger who wasn't partying but WORKING as a paid consultant at the Maui conference. (I know, I know, he got a buy off from the Ethics Commission to do this as long as he wasn't representing himself as an office holder.)

And we wonder why people get cynical. The least the Ethics Commission could have done was required the fines be paid with beer bottle deposits.

A dunk tank filled with Portland Willamette water would be a nice penalty for these clowns.

Sadly, this will just lead to more empty pleas for reeeee-form.

"Money is the mother's milk of politics"
(a quote attributed to both Tip O'Neil and Jesse Unruh).

It has never been more true, no matter what your party affiliation. Money plus political aspiration equals power. Incumbent power attracts more money, and creates even grander political ambition.

How else to explain the Presidential aspirations of Sen. Christopher Dodd or Steve Forbes?

The highest office in the land is out of reach for any candidate who is unable to raise $100 million...Just for the primary.
And not a single "front-running" candidate is willing to opt-in to public campain financing, because it is not in their interests to tie one hand behind their backs simply to demonstrate "purity" to the small (but vocal) minority who care.

And not a single "front-running" candidate is willing to opt-in to public campain financing

Which is why public financing of campaigns is such a hollow reform.

Over on Blue Oregon, someone raised as one of the litmus tests for candidates to run against Gordon Smith is...can they raise money?

We need a totally different paradigm.

"Which is why public financing of campaigns is such a hollow reform" Only because of such easy bribes for the bought politicos. Either term limits or public financing will stop this chicanery.
My experience has shown that when a politico howls something good might be happening.

Wayne Scott is the biggest scam artist in Politics in our fine state. You will also note in another story today, he was one of top beneficiaries of RJ Reynolds campaign contributions. Not to mention he attends EVERY Blazers home game, sitting right behind Paul Allen. You know darn well he doesn't pay a dime for those seats.

Should Potter pay the fine too?

Just a courtside thought.

TOTALLY off the hook is Rick Metzger who wasn't partying but WORKING...


says who?

I mean whom.

and... what's a paradigm, and why do we need a different one?

TOTALLY off the hook is Rick Metzger who wasn't partying but WORKING...

REALLY? says who?

Said the Oregonian back when, but he was hired by one of the beverage companies to give a presentation. He did, indeed, clear this with the ethics commision which basically said he didn't have to report it as long as he wasn't there in his capacity as a legislator. Well...he was there strictly as a great speaker? Uh, sure.

what's a paradigm?

My favorite text in grad school was Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis. Run right out and read it, "r." :-) In the meantime, think about the bumper sticker: "Subvert the Dominant Paradigm". When a system ain't working, you need to replace it with another one. Do billion dollar presidential elections represent the flowering of democracy...or something kinda sordid? I mean, how did we get here?

That said...I'd argue, at the state level, we need much better paid state legislators so they can make serving the public their full time jobs, and so they're not having to sell themselves out on streetcorners all the time. (Though lord knows some still will anyway...)


I meant the not partying part - sorry. I try to teach my 15 Y/O to stop assuming that everyone knows what she's thinking and thus to be clear in her writing, and now I've gone and stepped in it.

On your second point, I find it unlikely that simply paying these "public servants" more money will somehow dampen their inclination to yink us. More likely they'll just use the dough to pay flacks to try to game the voters. That model has never worked and you know what they say about insanity. You may as well advertise for a morally incorruptible candidate on craigslist.

Anyway, I don't think that falls under the heading of "subverting" anything.

The view that money in politics is something new and bad is myopic - and has more to do with the messages purveyed than the sources and amounts of money that finance them. Whether the message resonates, or not, let the people will decide. If you have no faith in the ability of the people to discern the truth, then how will restricting campaign contributions remedy that? What's next, all political speech must be run through a government filter? Campaign "reform" proposals essentially come down to someone or some group arrogating the rights of the individual in "their best interest".

No, thanks!

Let's mandate involvement and critical thinking and only allow those who pass a test to vote...



What's grad school?

I wonder if Paul Romain, lobbyist, has to pay capital gains tax on his $4100 investment? At 30% tax bracket, PDX, Oregon and Federal could reap a windfall.

Just a thought.

It is a sad commentary on our democrat dominated state legislature that these "slap on the wrists" are so puny. You would think it would be torture. Are the demos hiding something too? Fellow demo.

The Maui scoundrels in Salem include members of both parties.

The Maui scoundrels in Salem include members of both parties.

And the reform offered up against these trips is to disallow them. Well, sorta, kinda...oh, not really.

Now instead of lobbyists paying for the trips directly, the lawmakers could pay for them out of their campaign funds, which of course the lobbyists contribute to.

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