1/2 an Ethics Commission

henhouse-fox1Why go for the whole enchilada when you can just have half? Seems we might find out the answer to that question. Today, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed an ethics commission bill that would treat the executive branch differently than the legislative branch.

The bill has lingered for a month in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. But, something put wind in its sails over the weekend. That something was keeping control in the hands of legislators, when it comes to oversight of their branch of government.

In House Bill 151, if a member of the executive branch, a lobbyist, or a state contractor is found to have committed an ethics violation, a report is delivered to the ethics commission and is made public.

Conversely, if a member of the legislative branch is thought to have committed an ethics violation, the commission is instructed to deliver, in confidence, a report to the legislative ethics committee.

This is the equivalent of giving the henhouse keys to the fox. I doubt the public will buy the line that half of an ethics commission is better than the whole thing.

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