The story this morning about the SC Senate killing ethics legislation for the year was filled with the kind of nonsense that we’ve come to expect from this institution:
COLUMBIA — The state Senate polices its members just fine, senators said Wednesday, refusing to pass an ethics bill – Gov. Nikki Haley’s top priority for the year – that would end lawmakers’ practice of investigating ethics complaints against legislators.
But senators were pointed in their criticism of the GOP-controlled House’s ethics process, questioning its investigation last year of Republican Haley and its slowness to take up charges against Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston.
The Senate proved last week it should retain that responsibility when it investigated Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, on charges that he broke the law by spending campaign money on himself, said Senate Ethics chairman Luke Rankin, R-Horry. Facing ouster from the Senate, Ford resigned and now faces a State Law Enforcement Division investigation.
“Is (the state’s current ethics law) broken in the Senate? I think last week was the perfect and the best evidence to show, flatly, no,” Rankin said late Wednesday as the Senate debated the bill…
Really? Because one senator decided to resign in the midst of an ethics proceeding, the system is working? How do you figure? What if he hadn’t resigned? Then we would have seen whether the system works. What Ford did in resigning was abort the process.
Or do you think this is the process? Is your plan that, the next time a senator is investigated, y’all will just say to him, a few weeks into the process, OK, this is the part where you resign and save us all a lot of trouble…?
And if you think it’s not working in the House, or with the governor, why on Earth wouldn’t you change the law in order to address that problem? Instead of just saying, We’re OK here in the Senate, so everything’s hunky-dory.
You know, you’re not elected to pass laws according to how they affect you; you’re supposed to pass them for the good of the state as a whole. Maybe that’s a radical concept for you, but that’s actually the way it’s supposed to be.
It’s not about how senators feel about themselves or about each other. It just isn’t.
But what am I saying? Who’s in the dreamworld here? Obviously, it is all about y’all…