Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oxymoron of the Day: Ethical Politician It’s not only Deerfield Beach. Surprise! (Not.)

In Deerfield Beach we had Mayor Noland, as soon as she was elected, jumping to eliminate the Deerfield Beach Ethics code quickly seconded by Joe Miller. She placed an item on the agenda to rescind it, not to study it, but to get rid of it altogether. The other commissioners, most of whom I assume felt the same way but didn’t want to endure the wrath of the electorate decided to have a committee review the code. The end result is a watered down version of what they had.

That pales in comparison to what the Broward County Commission is planning. According to newspaper reports the commission is going to approve their proposed new code, if they don’t by law it will go to the voters. But, what then?????

Here's what:  reinforcing everything people say about elected officials becoming co-opted by the allure of the office, turned by the trappings of power and slipping over to the dark side as a result of believing what lobbyists whisper into their ears, they plan to gut it.  I assume in the same meeting so as not to have more than a few minutes to abide by the code. They will promptly water it down so much that I’m guessing anyone who is in the vicinity should plan on wearing hip high waders.

County Attorney Fox DDS has suggestions about how to pull its teeth.


From the Sun Sentinel:
Ethics reform dismantling draws quick foes in Broward

By Brittany Wallman August 5, 2010 05:30 PM

Broward County commissioners will pass historic ethics reforms Tuesday. Immediately after-wards, they'll consider watering them down and exempting themselves and family members from some of the new rules.Steam is rising from the county’s Ethics Commission, which spent more than a year crafting the new standards of conduct that voters demanded in 2008.
Ethics commission board member Bob Wolfe called the proposed exemptions “despicable, dis-gusting, and outrageous’’ and said they’d “gut’’ the law.

“We don’t want to see any more of this [corruption] go on. You get a choice to be in public ser-vice,’’ Wolfe said. “Either abide by the rules or go do something else.’’
Read the rest click here


From the Broward Beat by Buddy Nevins:
Can the ethically challenged Broward County Commission sink any lower?

Commissioners will consider next week a set of amendments to gut proposed ethics reform.
The amendments are supposedly authored by the county attorney’s office. I see the hand of Commissioner Ilene Lieberman in this.

Lieberman has consistently argued against ethics reform. She has been accused in the past of using the county attorney’s office to further her aims of derailing any new ethics laws.
Read the rest click here

From the Morning Pulp by Bob Norman:

-- In the latest outrageous bit of behavior from our delinquent Broward County Commission, there is a new plan afoot to gut the new ethics reform. The insidious plan (as it appears on the agenda): The commission will pass the ethics proposals put forth by the Broward County Ethics Commission as they are, as required by law, and then immediately vote on amendments that would exclude themselves and family members from having to follow some of them. Among them is the key provision to bar them and their relatives from lobbying in Broward County.

Read the rest click here 
As you might guess, I will bring this back to why Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment 4 exists. It exists precisely because of the lack of principles of too many of our elected officials, and because of the short sightedness of too many more of them.

Will a code ensure ethical behavior? I know that’s a laugh. But it must do something or else the commissioners wouldn’t be so against it. What are they so afraid of? Follow the money, that’s the answer.

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