Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
One of the "endearing" qualities of modern conservatives is that they seem to think they can say most anything, and a large chunk of the American public will believe them. Sadly, conservatives often are right about this.
Consider the recent actions of Alabama Governor Bob Riley. As his two terms are winding down, he called the Alabama Legislature into special session to address a package of ethics legislation. The seven bills were passed, and Riley is expected to sign them today. The whole process seems to have raised hardly any eyebrows among the masses.
No one in the mainstream press, that we are aware of, raised questions about Riley's past actions regarding ethics bills. No one pointed out that putting Bob Riley in charge of ethics is like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank.
Is Bob Riley genuinely interested in ethics reform? His history indicates the answer is no. In 2007, a bipartisan ethics bill was passed in the House and Senate by a combined vote of 131-0. It landed on Riley's desk, and he refused to sign it.
Why? The bill, sponsored by Rep. Marcel Black (D-Muscle Shoals), would have expanded the definition of a lobbyist to include people who attempt to influence the awarding of state contracts that are not competitively bid. And that meant Riley's children, Rob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell, would have been inhibited in their efforts to make money off no-bid state contracts. Reported the Associated Press back in '07:
"It is widely held in Montgomery that Governor Riley's children lobby their father on behalf of entities desiring no-bid state contracts," Senate Majority Leader Zeb Little, D-Cullman, said.