She was right. Under state law, that didn’t qualify as a conflict. Legislation attempting to make it one went exactly nowhere.
The latest report card from the Center for Public Integrity came out last year, and it was the most comprehensive to date. As usual, Maine flunked in nearly every category. Once again, a bill was crafted to cover some of these deficiencies. This year’s version called for disclosure of legislators’ ownership of 5 percent or more of a business, disclosure of any role in a political action committee, more detailed reporting of income, and electronic filing of this information on a publicly accessible website. Another measure required a waiting period before ex-legislators could become lobbyists. Just the sort of stuff that’s always gone no place fast.
But Libby Mitchell isn’t around anymore. Neither are Paul Jacques and Joe Brannigan. And Andrea Boland’s political clout has faded so much you have to wonder if those supplements are placebos.
The bills passed. Republican Governor Paul LePage (who doesn’t think we need a law disclosing contributions to gubernatorial transition committees) signed them.
There’s actually a chance that when the center releases its next report card, Maine won’t receive another “F.”
Even a “D-” would look pretty good.
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: The Editorial Page
, Libby Mitchell, Paul Lepage