Last summer my brother was visiting from Texas (their Legislature invented the words graft and corruption in state government). I showed him the proposed ethics amendments for North Dakota. After he read the amendments, he looked at me and said, "Who in the heck wouldn't want amendments like these for their state?"
The voices of the North Dakota voters were loud and clear: We want them!
As one reads through the list*, it's hard to believe that anyone would object to any of them. They call for clear judgment, ethical actions and there isn't one of them that would impinge on any legislator's rights. In my career as an educator, I paid for my own meals. I can't think of many jobs at which the "boss" (i.e., people of the state of North Dakota) paid for the meals. If the lobbyists are paying for the meals, they are getting something for themselves and/or companies.
Think of which companies are making the real money in this state. The simple request of the people is: Do the right thing.
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But here we are, watching the news and reading about how the Legislature has to take two years to study the small list of simple citizen requests, has to appoint separate committees to do this study, will probably put it off for more time to study, and I'm wondering why. Why is it so difficult to do the right thing for our Legislature?
*Establish an ethics commission, ban foreign political contributions, enact provisions related to lobbying and conflicts of interests. (This is explained more explicitly in the provisions under the measure design.) — Google.com: North Dakota Measure 1
Konnie Wightman, Mandan