Opposing Reform for Opposing Reform’s sake

Yesterday the House voted to water down an ethics bill, which would have appointed half the members of the ethics committee by random, instead of by leadership appoints (read the AP Story and the Patriot News Story) . The opposition claimed this bill was “reform for reform’s sake” – which means they opposed it for opposing reform’s sake.

Why the need for the change? Because the ethics committee is a sham. From the AP Story:

The Ethics Committee investigates alleged violations of the House’s internal rules, lobbying regulations or the Legislative Code of Ethics by representatives, House officers and employees.

In April, a House lawyer told the commission that the Ethics Committee dismissed all seven complaints it had considered over the prior four years.

Really?!? No ethics violations in the last four years?!? Really?!?

The bill did include requiring lawmakers to have 2 hours of ethics training each 2 year session – which leads to three, equally troubling questions

1) Isn’t it a sign of the problem that the officials we elect need training to learn how to be ethical?
2) What can they possibly learn in 2 hours every two years? That isn’t even enough time to watch Braveheart.
3) If the Ethics Committee found no ethics violations in the last four years, what do lawmakers need ethics training for? Clearly they are practically perfect in every way.