February 17, 2012
In regards to on legislation that seeks to "clamp down" on elected officials found guilty of serious charges ("Bills aim at guilty officials," Feb. 13), I would like to see our lawmakers take it a step further: If you violate ethics rules, you lose everything, including your pension, no matter when you broke the law. Admittedly, it's a bit Draconian. On the other hand, if you're an elected official and you play it straight, you've nothing to worry about. It's a no-brainer. I should think all elected and other government officials would leap at this opportunity to be the first to endorse such legislation.
April 23, 2010
The ethics measures signed into law Wednesday by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake may not be as "sweeping" as the mayor claims, but they are an important step forward. Not least of all because they should help restore public trust in City Hall, something Ms. Rawlings-Blake had pledged to make a top priority. Baltimoreans will long remember that the ethics board found no fault with the actions of former Mayor Sheila Dixon up to and including the moment she was criminally indicted.
March 12, 2012
Perhaps the only welcome consequence of state Sen. Ulysses Currie's disgrace and censure over his apparent use of his public office for private gain was Senate PresidentThomas V. Mike Miller's creation of a special work group on ethics. The bipartisan committee, formed in the aftermath of Mr. Currie's acquittal in court, was charged with finding legislation to improve ethics practices in state government and to do so during the current General Assembly session. It is a disappointment, then, that one of its first recommendations is for a bill that would actually weaken ethics standards.
June 27, 2012
John Fritze's article, "Bartlett fumbles finance reports," (June 25) serves to point out once again the problems arising with politicians taking campaign contributions. There is only one answer to such a fiasco. Politicians should do what I do as a teacher of political science. In my last two campaigns, for governor in and for U.S. Senate, I made a commitment to refuse any campaign contributions whatsoever. On a budget by design of $450 for the 2010 campaign and $280 for the 2012 campaign, my vote total was 22,828 votes.
April 9, 2012
Amid all the hoopla about the budget and gambling, some significant bills that had been held up until the last day began making progress through the General Assembly. Among the bills whose proponents were trying to beat the clock was the administration's effort to write new rules governing public-private partnerships (P3s) and a Senate-originated effort to put legislators' ethics disclosures on line. The House agreed to the Senate's decision to leave a controversial amendment off the P3 bill but made other changes that required the approval of both the House and Senate before midnight.
October 31, 2011
I agree with letter writer Bill Miller ("Currie trial reveals flawed political system," Oct. 27) that a system in which a legislator can be personally compensated for assisting a constituent presents an obvious conflict of interest. At least it should, but I know that in Maryland state government, that doesn't seem to be the case. It's very disheartening to the voters and taxpayers as we have no influence to change this system. Most legislators have full-time jobs outside of the General Assembly, but when it is in session and they are doing the people's business, it is unseemly that they get to make laws and be compensated by others.