Wednesday, March 15, 2006
While many good public disclosure laws have made it onto the books, legislators have shown an almost across-the-board unwillingness to disclose how they earn their money and how their personal business may conflict with their public decisions. Just three years ago, the Center for Public Integrity ranked Louisiana fifth from the bottom in terms of openness in this area, noting that gigantic loopholes have been created in disclosure and conflict-of-interest rules.
Louisiana's problem is that legislators feel secure in the belief that the public doesn't care whether disclosure laws protect their interests. Until the people demand change, lawmakers will continue to operate under self-serving laws that keep us all in the dark about possible conflicts of interest.