State News

Senate panel approves package of ethics reforms

Posted June 22, 2010

— A judiciary committee in the North Carolina Senate approved a package of ethics law changes and campaign finance and government reforms Tuesday that includes ideas from House members, Gov. Beverly Perdue and good-government advocates.

"It's wonderful to see this moving," said Jane Pinsky, director of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform. "It's a significant first step, with some things on the edges that need to be fine-tuned."

The full Senate was expected to consider the ethics reform bill on Wednesday.

The reforms would require more disclosure and detailed reporting, increase transparency and discourage pay-to-play in state politics. They also would expand voluntary public financing in statewide elections, which would eliminate the need for candidates to seek contributions from people with whom they do business.

"I have some heartburn, I'd be less than honest if I didn't say, with voter financing of any election, said Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, who added that he plans to support the bill.

NC General Assembly 4x3 Senate poised to pass ethics reform package

Senate Majority Leader Martin Nesbitt said the comprehensive bill also includes changes to improve the public's access to government records and state employee personnel information.

"There's probably 15 different places we put our stamp on it, and I think it covers all the bases," said Nesbitt, D-Buncombe.

The House approved three ethics bills last year, but they didn't get acted upon in the Senate. Interest grew this year as a federal grand jury continues to investigate activities surrounding former Gov. Mike Easley, and the State Board of Elections looks at campaign flights that Perdue and other candidates took aboard donors' planes.

"Several recent polls said as many as 70 percent of North Carolinians don't believe their government is honest. That's a real depressing thing," Pinsky said.

31 Comments

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  • North Carolina Home Jun 23, 2010

    70% of people polled do not think their state government is honest!

    WHY IN HEAVEN'S NAME DO THEY KEEP SENDING THE SAME ONES BACK?

    Or is it a case of everybody's else's representative is dirty but mine is clean?

  • miketroll3572 Jun 23, 2010

    The weasles guarding the chicken coup? Don't think for a minute they care!

  • whatusay Jun 23, 2010

    This bill will probably make it harder to prosecute corrupt politicians for ethics violations. I can't see politicians passing anything that might limit their income from illegal money flowing into their coffers, or passing any law that might limit their ability to keep getting re-elected.

  • granvilleNC Jun 23, 2010

    This will put more at stake for those who decide to be unethical. When you vote for your own rules, it's more difficult to justify breaking them than if someone else had voted them into law. Granville County man

  • b45ketballNinja Jun 23, 2010

    If they had ethics they would not need an ethics law. This will not change a thing.

  • delilahk2000 Jun 22, 2010

    THESE PEOPLE WOULD NOT KNOW ETHICS AND MORALS AND HONESTY IF IT WAS TO COME AND SLAP THEM IN THE FACE.

  • arfamr1006 Jun 22, 2010

    Ethics is a subject politicians ignore. why pass a bill if you're not gonna follow it anyway?

  • demo7691 Jun 22, 2010

    Purdue ettics- Why did she waste 200,000 + a year for a friends position that the court ruled was under the control of the Stet Supt of Education. Because she has none

  • whatusay Jun 22, 2010

    Is breaking ethics rules and corruption close to the same? Is stealing from tax payers breaking ethics rules or corruption? Is taking bribes for your vote breaking ethics rules or corruption? Is accepting illegal campaign contributions breaking ethics rules or corruption? Is taking illegal flights on influential citizens jets breaking ethics rules or colrruption. So many politicians are doing these things and getting by with it. When politicians don't enforce our laws (illegal immigration), is that breaking ethics rules or corruption? I guess we'll never know.

  • EyesintheSkies Jun 22, 2010

    WRAL is late with the April Fool's Day post. If it's a joke it's on the voters. The politicos on Jones Street believe we're dumb enough to think the weasels in office will reform themselves into sheep dogs.
    Unfortunately, some voters will buy it.

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