Legislative Ethics? You Gotta Be Kidding!

It’s like:
…having Hulk Hogan attend charm school.
…The JackAss film crew teaching safety classes.
…hiring Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky to babysit.
…getting a physical check up from Dr. Kavorkian.

What is it? ETHICS TRAINING FOR THE IDAHO LEGISLATURE! According to BETSY RUSSELL at the Spokesman newspaper, the legislators will be subject to several hours of instruction on the third day of the session. Several hours? With the record these lawmakers have amassed in the past few years they should all be required to have several semesters of training–not just a couple of hours.

The classes also SHOULD be open to the public and the curriculum should be a public record. The real joke is who is going to teach the classes? Imagine some of the class titles:
–“How to collect per diem AND free lobbyist meals.”
–“How to disguise use of letterhead for fundraising.”
–“Intimidation of new members as tradition.”
–“Secrecy at caucus without scrutiny.”
–“Billing secrets to increase PERSI retirement.”

The GUARDIAN would gladly offer free instruction for more needed subjects as an adjunct professor. Our first lesson would be West Point’s Cadet Honor Code which states simply:
“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Imagine applying such a simple rule to an Idaho politician?

Three rules of thumb from the academy code–
1. Does this action attempt to deceive anyone or allow anyone to be deceived?
2. Does this action gain or allow the gain of privilege or advantage to which I or someone else would not otherwise be entitled?
3. Would I be dissatisfied by the outcome if I were on the receiving end of this action?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Grumpy ole guy
    Dec 2, 2012, 10:35 pm

    How to submit a claim for reimbursement form without grinning.

    Ethics: OR, how to get the most without getting caught.

    DUI: the new normal.

    While in session be more careful.

    The Capitol Campus in not your romper room.

    Pay for Parking is for non-elected officials only.

    How to hide your office sleeping bag.

    Hands Off!

    Keep your sexual innuendo to yourself, and save

    When NO means go ahead.

  2. It’s just fluff. They will continue to behave badly. Mcgee just got his girls mixed up.

  3. Maybe I’m giving ’em too much credit, but I bet every newly-elected legislator arrives on those hallowed marble halls with the loftiest intentions… to be the most above-the-table representative ever!

    That is, until (s)he attends some orientation meetings with the Good Old Boys, who explain “how things are done around here.” And then the lobbyists start taking ’em to lunch. And before you know it, despite those good intentions, the day-to-day goings-on make those trusting constituents seem far away and not so important, ’til 6 months or so before the next election.

    Or, maybe it happens before that. Perhaps to even get on the ballot with the correct letter behind their name, they have to take the Secret Party Loyalty Pledge.

  4. I was always taught that being ethical meant to do more than what was expected and less than what was allowed, seems to me the Idaho legislature has this a bit confused.

  5. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 4, 2012, 2:20 pm

    As I said on Twitter: When are they going to attend common sense training?

    Follow me on Twitter: @rodinboise

  6. Why didn’t Mcgee get a felony sexual assault charge? Did ya read the police report? What the scoop?

  7. Rod, commons sense needs to be legalized first before we can have politico training. Hard to fix stupid.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: