That's My Take: DC Ethics Reform Bill - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

That's My Take: DC Ethics Reform Bill

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FOX 5's Vice President and General Manager Duffy Dyer gives his take on issues in the DC Region.


DC Ethics Reform Bill

Last week, the D.C. City Council gathered to debate and vote on a bill that attempts to address much needed ethics reform in dc government.

Let me get a few points out of the way.

First, the fact that we even have to create legislation to police the activities of elected officials is deeply disappointing. Ethical behavior of our elected officials should not have to be legislated. It should be expected.

Second, you don't ask a committee of foxes to write rules that protect the hen house. So is there anyone who has paid attention to the recent antics of some council members really surprised that this legislation falls short of comprehensively addressing the "anything goes" atmosphere that some D.C. City Council members operate in?

Any ethics reform bill that does not allow the board of ethics and government to go beyond acts of censure and removal from committees should be a non-starter. The bill should force council members to resign their council seats if found in violation of the code of conduct.

It is sad to say that this bill does represent the most meaningful ethics reform that the District has seen since the establishment of home rule. That said, residents of D.C. deserve a more comprehensive bill that embraces:

  • full disclosure
  • more restrictions on the role of lobbyists
  • a prohibition of city contractors contributing to political campaigns
  • a ban on city contractors employing council members
  • stiffer penalties for ethical lapses.

I urge the City Council to stiffen the backbone of this bill before putting it to a final vote on December 20.

That’s my take. What’s yours? Comment below here on myfoxdc.com or send me an e-mail at tmt@wttg.com .

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