Thursday, August 03, 2006

Political Ethics: Round One, Culver & Nussle spin their plans.

It’s corruption week in Iowa; people are talking about it and everyone is against it -- well almost everyone, the Polk County insider syndicate & friends being the infamous exception. But even better than the knowing disapproval of the voting rabble with tilting heads and nodding tisks, is the dueling ethics plans being sent out by our gubernatorial guys. They both need “ethics plans” to cover for those distant political cousins crawling out of right & left closets.

Culver dropped his ethics plan on the media this past Monday.

Culver Announces Plan for Ethical and Accountable Government

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

(Des Moines) Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver stood at the State Capitol today to announce his plan for ethical, accountable leadership, and to restore Iowans’ faith in government that has been shaken by scandals, from CIETC in Des Moines to the corruption of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff in Washington.

“Iowa’s next Governor must restore the faith in government that CIETC took away,” Culver said at today’s press conference. “This is not Washington, D.C. There must be a zero-tolerance policy for corruption at any level in state government. … link

Culver goes on in the press release to outline his ethics agenda:

Followed by Nussle’s "yo' mamma" press release on Tuesday.

Nussle Calls for “End of Crony Bonuses” in Iowa Government

Nussle Will End Excessive Management Bonuses

DES MOINES—Iowa gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle today called for “an end of all crony bonuses” as part of his plan to clean-up state government and restore trust between Iowans and their elected officials.

Jim Nussle said, “As Governor, I will end this deceptive practice. When you sign up as a manager in public service, you should receive a fair salary that is clearly disclosed to Iowa taxpayers.” …

…“Iowans have had enough of these scandalous dramas and demand these crony bonuses be stopped once and for all,” Nussle announced this morning on statewide radio. “This is reprehensible when the State has been rewarding some managers for poor job performances at the expense of hard-working taxpayers and front-line state workers in law enforcement, corrections, education, and on down the line.” …

… After the job training greed scheme broke this past spring, Nussle called for an Iowa Inspector General to protect taxpayers, provide a safe harbor for state workers and citizen whistleblowers, and initiative independent investigations. link

This is Nussle’s blow back to Culver’s ethics plan announcement. There is nothing new on his Inspector General proposal, but the guy does outrage pretty well – a practiced politicians stock in trade.

Does it matter? Do voters really believe that with a few turned out policies our politicians can clean up thier ethical swamp?

I’ll answer it for y’all – NO.

Yes, it’s cynical to suggest that neither Culver nor Nussle will ever be able to produce enough policy to create a completely ethical political environment. It’s too easy to get ahead and stay on top in politics by taking a few short cuts; there isn't much of an incentive to change a way of being that produces easy wins.

The only good thing is that in a year when voters are willing to toss any and all of the well worn political bums, politicians always seem to rediscover a sharp sense of right and wrong. A contrite nod by the politicos to the voters with an “I hear you and we’ll be better, promise” can be enough to bring 'round a few of those weak willed voters that don’t demand enough policy bling. Culver and Nussle are just doing what they have to do to make the world right with some values voters, although I am sure it makes both camps wish for larger special interest voting blocs.

By November, these ethics plans will have been dissected & analyzed to the point of irrelevance, unless one or both of the candidates have stepped in it and the candidate(s)’ issues dribble out with every mention of the word ethics.

Can anyone spell t-r-o-u-b...


Comments:
Ethics to the C & N teams is like the C&E parishoners at Mass - see look at me, out in public doing the right thing. Just don't look at what they do the other 363 days. You gotta love these staffers and their pressers. Never mind those guys behind the curtain Dorthy. Ah, how disappointing to be Dorthy.
 
I agree, I don't think the scandals will be a major issue outside of the Des Moines Golden Circle. But there are hundreds of thousands of voters in the Des Moines Golden Circle.

The issue is huge in Polk. Many shoes are left to drop, many shoes. John Mauro is in deep trouble I suspect. The stink blows all over every Democrat here, because no one can believe that most, if not all, of D insiders weren't involved in, or at least had knowledge of, the scope of the corruption.

Every major local media source, the Register everyday, Michelsen every day, Deace for hours a day cover it constantly. Every DSM city council meeting has it on live TV.

How long before it spreads? I'd guess next week will be the worst week yet for the Democrats.

Ride it hard Pachyderms 'cause we can take Boss, Lulu and Roscoe P. all the way down in 06!
 
Ethics politics is a tough line to fish. You've gotta make sure that you're not hooking yourself some back at ya' trouble.

But the scope of corruption inside the Polk County Democrat run local government is astonishing by any standards and if nothing else it will suppress the Polk County Democratic Faithful in November. Offending your usual supporters to the point of cynical disinterest is a good way to lose an election.
 
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