Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ethics In Government: It Definitely Does Not Apply In Texas!

Ever wonder how President Bush got laws passed in Texas? It seems that in the W's home state of Texas, one vote doesn't apply at the legislature. In this amazing display of political corruption, Texas TV station KEYE did this story which is not getting massive hits on YouTube. What makes me laugh is how at one point someone voted for someone who was actually there, just standing up (though the person standing up was trying to vote on someone else's desk). State Representative Debbie Riddle, says voting for other members is done out of necessity. "We have a lot of amendments,” Riddle said. “We don't have lunch breaks, dinner breaks, restroom breaks." Necessity or not, one thing is clear, they aren't supposed to be doing it.

So, should lawmakers do it? It is against their own rules. But the issue is with enforcement. In Texas, it is the speaker’s job to make sure rules are followed. When CBS 42 asked Speaker of the House Tom Craddick’s spokesperson about it, she just shrugged her shoulders and said it was up to the House members to decide what do to if there's a violation. Although the practice is widespread, CBS 42 couldn't find any instances of lawmakers being disciplined for voting more than once.

Ahh, ethics in government. Now that's an oxymoron. Nothing from lawmakers surprise me. They're all screwups.