Oy. DeLeo already wants to water down the gov's ethics bill:
The proposal, DeLeo's first major initiative since taking office in late January, increases penalties for ethics violations but leaves in place what critics call a gaping loophole that allows lawmakers to accept gifts of any size as long as the gifts are not intended to influence a specific act.
Former state senator Dianne Wilkerson has relied on that provision – which was spelled out by the Supreme Judicial Court in 2000 – to justify her acceptance of tens of thousands of dollars from wealthy contributors who helped dig her out of income tax and mortgage debts. Those large gifts have become a focal point of separate bribery charges against her that are being investigated by a federal grand jury.
Nice juxtaposition by Globe reporter Andrea Estes. Shall we call DeLeo's bill the “Diane Wilkerson Ethics Bill”?
I hope the legislature recognizes how badly they all need a strong ethics bill. If they want to assuage the public's contempt for the way they do business, they should lean forward with these reforms. Hope and change, everyone … hope and change.