Got this release a few minutes ago from Vincent Sheheen:
Sheheen on Ethics Reform: GOP efforts & Governor’s back-seat approach the “good-old-boys-and-girls network at its worst”
Columbia – Today, state Representatives Beth Bernstein and James Smith stood up to call for real ethics reform and urged Governor Haley for leadership instead of hiding behind yet another bureaucratic commission while her followers do the dirty work of decriminalizing some of the most common ethics violations – many of which she was accused of herself. State Senator Vincent Sheheen released this statement:
“I thank Representatives Bernstein and Smith for joining me in the revolt against the status quo and the efforts to move South Carolina forward by returning common sense and ethics to our leadership. The Republican effort at ‘ethics reform’ is the good-old-boys–and-girls network in politics at its worst. We need real leadership to clean up the government, not just a study or report while members of the Governor’s own party decrease the punishment on ethics violations that she has been charged with.
“For too long, South Carolina has struggled to meet its potential under the guidance of leaders who get detoured by putting their self-interest before the interests of the people. We need to change the way we do business and leave the politics of ideology and personal ambition behind to get the state back on track.”
I just wish he wouldn’t use that overworked “good ol’ boys” construction. That got tired back when Carroll Campbell was using it. I don’t think anybody really knows what it means, aside from having a rough impression that it’s bad.
Here’s a column I wrote musing about the phrase years ago…
And here’s a column Cindi Scoppe wrote on this “ethics” legislation. An excerpt:
After failing for more than half the session even to introduce their proposal on legislators’ top to-do item, House leaders rolled out a place-holder bill on April 11 that contained nothing but the bill title. They scheduled a subcommittee meeting for the next legislative day, last Tuesday, where House Republican Leader Bruce Bannister, who chairs the Constitutional Law Subcommittee, handed members of his panel a summary and a 100-page amendment that would become the bill.
Panel members discussed the items on the summary — decriminalization was not on the list — made some changes and approved the bill before they had a chance to read it. (It took me nearly three hours to do what I consider a cursory reading.) The process repeated the next day in the full Judiciary Committee, whose members also made changes without having time to read the bill. The text of the bill wasn’t posted online until Thursday evening, seven hours after the committee formally reported it to the House.
Although it’s common for the amended version of a bill not to be available until the next step in the process, I can’t recall a bill ever making it to full committee, much less the full House, before some version was available.
The process was so confusing that Rep. James Smith, a Democrat who serves on the subcommittee, told me Thursday morning that the bill increased penalties for the worst ethics violations. The next day, he called to say he was outraged to discover he was wrong — and to promise to lead a fight to restore them. GOP Rep. Rick Quinn, who also serves on the subcommittee, emailed me an amendment he planned to offer that would do what both men had thought the bill did — increase the current criminal penalties…
Yeah, I had spoken with James, last Tuesday night I think it was, when he was fresh from the meeting alluded to above, and he thought it was a good bill. It’s a good thing that he recognized his mistake…