No reform of incumbent protection ads

Article on the Reform Panel’s debate on taxpayer-funded “Public Service Ads” (a.k.a. incumbent protection plans), from (subscription):

Even after a former House majority leader blasted taxpayer-paid TV ads featuring lawmakers as an “outrage,” the House Reform Commission declined on Thursday to recommend removing members’ names and pictures from the ads.

The commission voted 14-10 for a measure that would not allow the pictures or names of lawmakers on PSA TV ads. But to be included in the reform package the House is expected to vote upon in mid-March, the measure needed 18 commission votes, nine from each party.

Not even a public scolding from Butera, House majority leader in the 1970s, changed that result

“This is an outrage and if you are not aware of it, you are misreading the public,” he told the panel.

Butera said of the TV ads themselves, “they’re terrible and voters resent it. … It’s wrong, you can’t justify spending $1 on them. You can’t justify this.”

Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, who sponsored the attempt to allow the ads only if they didn’t name or include the picture of a House member, said that in some cases, $300,000 was spent on ads to promote a member who faced a tough election.

And here is further cause for outrage:

Vitali’s plan failed partly because commission co-chairman Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery, not only voted against it, but cast the proxy votes of several missing members against it. Republicans on the committee did the same thing, so Vitali’s plan, which needed to win each caucus on the commission by at least a 9-3 margin, won only 7-5 among both Democrats and Republicans.

What? Didn’t the reform panel already approve a proposal to end proxy voting, but there doing in themselves? What is next, Public Service Ads from everyone on the Reform Panel lauding themselves for their efforts?