The Indianapolis Star reported that other legislative leaders, including Republicans House Minority Leader Brian Bosma and Senate Majority Leader David Long expressed support for an ethics reform agenda.
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH RESTRICTIONS
Lobbyists will be required to report any gift of more than $50 to a legislator, legislative candidate or legislative employee. An individual who holds a state elected office may not be registered as a lobbyist for one year after leaving office. Lobbyists will be prohibited from representing multiple clients if there is a conflict of interest between those clients.
“These proposals are aimed at providing clarity to the day-to-day activities of state lawmakers, and ensure there is a necessary break to prevent any state elected official from using a former position to gain unfair advantages over others,” Bauer said. “I believe it is appropriate as well to make sure that lobbyists do not try to exploit those they are representing by taking all sides of an issue. Such conflicts only end up filling the lobbyists’ pocketbooks.”
EXECUTIVE BRANCH RESTRICTIONS
Any individual appointed to a position in the executive branch by the governor will not be allowed to register as a lobbyist for one year after leaving the post. Committees representing the governor or any candidate for that office will be prohibited from soliciting contributions or conducting fund-raisers during the long session of the Indiana General Assembly or a time period around the Legislature’s Organizational Day.“The proposed changes mirror what we are seeking in the legislative branch, and expand a prohibition on raising funds that has been in effect in the Indiana House for a number of years,” Bauer said.
STATE CONTRACTING AND CONTRIBUTIONS
People who have contracts with state government or bid on contracts will be prohibited from making political contributions to individuals who hold state office or run for state office. People who bid on or receive contracts will be required to register with the state’s election division, which will make that information available to the public. Violators will receive civil and criminal penalties and face the potential loss of their state contracts.
The Star also noted the reaction of Sen. Mike Delph, a Carmel Republican who has pushed for a major overhaul of lobbying rules. Sen. Delph called the backing by legislative leaders "a good day for Indiana." He stated further: "This is a step in the right direction in terms of rebuilding the public trust and fomenting the idea that government is accountable to the citizens and the constituents that elect their representatives."
Critics of Speaker Bauer saying he is just pushing a reform agenda for "political reasons." To that, I would reply, "so what?" I have long said that pursuing a reform agenda is politically popular. Speaker Bauer has apparently woken up to that fact. Who cares about his motivation for pushing reform, if reform gets enacted?
It is a shame that Marion County Republican leadership and the Ballard administration have not gotten the message about the popularity of an ethics/good government agenda. Reviewing the Mayor's contribution report is like reading a "Who's Who" of what companies are doing business with the City. If Republicans do not stand for good government reform in Indianapolis, an agenda the Marion County Democratic Party here has avoided, they are doomed to be the minority party in the county.