Letter - State’s ethics law is a good oneThis letter is to correct a statement by Representative Mary Franson at the Republican Town Hall meeting Friday morning.
To the editor:
This letter is to correct a statement by Representative Mary Franson at the Republican Town Hall meeting Friday morning.
Commenting on the discord in the political world today, Mary said it is partly due to John Marty’s government ethics law. She explained: Legislators have little chance to get to know each other socially today because that law means that a Democrat attending a Republican social function must pay to enter; and vice versa, so members of each party are not inclined to pay to socialize with members of the other party.
The reality is that Senator Marty's government ethics law, which has been in existence for almost 20 years, simply prohibits lobbyists and the interest groups that lobby at the Capitol from giving gifts to the legislators that they are paid to lobby.
Does Representative Franson really believe that DFL and Republican lawmakers cannot socialize unless lobbyists pay for their dinners? There is no prohibition in the law from having the Republicans invite Democrats to social events or Democrats inviting Republicans. And since the Marty Ethics Law applies only in Minnesota, how does she explain the political discord that is just as strong in Washington, D.C. and in the other 49 states, most of which do not have Minnesota's ethics law?
There is an obvious conflict of interest when lobbyists are wining and dining the legislators that they are paid to influence. The ethics law is a good one. I encourage Representative Franson to be less interested in subverting efforts to control lobbyists and more interested in serving the people of our district. What have she and Representative Westrom or Senator Ingebrigtsen done to work for the designation of Alexandria as a regional center?
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