by Max Brantley
Brummett's blog says the Petrus-Thyer ethics legislation should emerge tomorrow, likely with a one-year rather than two-year ban on post-legislative lobbying. If it applies to current members it will at least have some meaning.
He says it will firm up a $100 cap on gifts to public officials. That's better than the giant loophole that is current law. But 1) I hope it specifies a time limit on $100 gifts. If you can give one daily it's not much of a limit. and 2) Why not a lower limit? (In Congress, it was $50 last time I checked.) How often do you spend $100 on a wedding present for a friend? It's a sizable gratuity -- seven cases of Busch or a whole beef tenderloin or six pounds of jumbo lump Gulf crabmeat. Heck, why not no gifts at all?
I'm also going to be interested to see what's specified on lobbyist activities. If it is only more disclosure, that's nice, but I'd like to see much more, particularly if it opens up how much may be spent on entertainment. There are some guys out there willing to openly take golfing trips to Scotland. I'd prefer a severe limit on the entertainment expenses, as well as disclosure.
Don't give me that "perfect being the enemy of the good" crapola. Arkansas lead for once. Why let the greedy be the enemy of the perfect.