Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mollway sees need for House Ethics Committee

Dan Mollway, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission, today shared thoughts with the task force charged with determining whether the House should establish a Standards of Conduct committee and the scope of its duties. The Advertiser has a story here, and Ian Lind covers it on his blog here. Given that there is no other outside tribunal that can address the conflicts of the House, and seeing the importance of restoring and maintaining public confidence, Mollway said that such a committee is a good idea and that one is needed. The committee will meet next on September 4th at 9:00 a.m. and is scheduled to engage Alan Rosenthal, one of the country's foremost experts in legislative ethics, in a conference call. Rosenthal is a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers.


sandwich said...

I give credit to these people for trying to tighten up their rules. I understand self-policing has been the norm, and it's probably worked up until now, more or less. However, the public in general has been demanding greater transparency and more accountability. If these efforts result in greater confidence in government, more power to them.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need an ethics committee when there is an ethics commission? Seems like an overlap, besides, will House members really have the guts to discipline their own?

sandwich said...

In the Advertiser article, it says that there are issues that don't fall under the Ethics Commission's jurisdiction (even though they probably would be considered "ethics problems"). As for whether House members would discipline their own, I think they'd be under a lot of pressure to do something if the public learns of some seedy transgressions.