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Friday, August 07, 2009

Bleeding Heartland: The Iowa Legislature can't enforce its own disclosure rules

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement on Wednesday filed an ethics
complaint against the Iowa Pharmacy Association, which entertained
Governor Chet Culver and numerous state legislators in February but
did not disclose the reception until after journalists started asking
questions five months later. State Representative Kerry Burt, who
attended the event, was arrested later that night for drunk driving. ...
This emerging and growing political scandal raises new questions about
the ability of the House and Senate Ethics Committees to accurately
monitor and regulate these types of events. In 2005, state lawmakers
voted to strip oversight powers from the nonpartisan State Ethics and
Campaign Disclosure Board and task the House and Senate Ethics
Committees with oversight responsibilities. Since then, the number of
reported filings have gone down, as has the reported amount of money
spent at lobbying events.


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