The obstinate resistance among many Utah lawmakers to ethics reform is baffling!
As happens each session, legislation is introduced to respond to citizen concerns and bring a degree of accountability to those elected to represent the people. And every year it gets shot down. It has happened again. This year it was a reasonable proposal that would have required lobbyists to let the public know of any gift or freebie in excess of ten dollars given to a legislator.
As it now stands, we hardly know who benefits from the money spent each year by lobbyists on entertaining the people who make our laws. Last year, reportedly, it totaled more than $150,000.
This latest measure didn’t even make it out of a senate committee - scuttled by the “no” votes of just two senators. “No one is abusing the current system,” they reason. “A $10 sandwich at lunch doesn’t buy anyone’s vote.” In KSL’s view, though, that $10 lunch buys access . . . and who knows what kind of influence, whether subtle or direct! In our view, it’s all about transparency and letting the public know, through reports that would be filed, who is doing what. Is that really too much to expect from those who have the power to affect our lives through the legislation they approve?