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Ethical Guidelines For Governors
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011
Efforts to reform state government are now taking shape across the country. For those who are newly elected, there is the challenge of making good on all those campaign promises. For the re-elected governors, the struggling economy does not allow time for celebration or complacency.
Regardless of your status – new or incumbent - I recommend you put ethics at the top of your agenda. Many of last year’s worst scandals involved governors and other state elected officials. Several lawmakers were forced to resign, and the efforts to uncover illegal and unethical behavior are being driven by an angry and disillusioned electorate.
Change will not come quickly or easily, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Today a reporter asked me which issue should a new governor attack first: ethics reform or the top statewide issues such as education and reviving the economy?
They cannot be separated. If there is a culture of ethics in the state legislature, there is a better chance that the laws that are passed have been openly and honestly debated, and that the decisions were made on merit. Transparency, accountability, and integrity will go a long way in the quest to restore the public’s confidence.
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