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New Foundation Asks Ala. Lawmakers to Take Anti-Corruption Pledge

  |   By: West Honeycutt     |   News

The Alabama Foundation for Limited Government has kicked off a statewide campaign asking incumbent elected officials and candidates for office to sign an anti-corruption pledge aimed at improving Alabama’s ethical climate.

The Foundation has mailed its Anti-Corruption Pledge to every state senator, state representative and candidate for state house and senate.

“The legislative leadership has done nothing to advance real ethics reform in the state,” former state senator and Foundation President John Rice said at a Montgomery press conference. “Public officials are receiving special treatment to attend football games, fundraisers are held during the session when legislators are on taxpayers’ dime, and legislators are conducting back-room deals with lobbyists. Letting them get away with this stops today.”

The pledge includes:

  • Term limits for legislators
  • Restrictions on gifts like tickets to athletic events
  • A ban on becoming a lobbyist for two years after vacating a legislative position
  • Increased reporting for lobbyists
  • A ban on elected officials or their family members double-dipping by earning additional money from state agencies over which they have budget authority
  • A ban on pay-to-play schemes
  • A ban on former legislators working on state-funded projects they voted on as a legislator
  • A ban on state elected officials from raising campaign contributions while the legislature is in session

At the Foundation’s press conference, Mr. Rice accused the legislative leadership of “blocking common sense ethics reform.”

“The Alabama Anti-Corruption Pledge is long overdue. It is a document that will clean up the swamp that is Montgomery and in our state government,” he said.

The Alabama Foundation for Limited Government launched www.alabamapledge.com where names of all who sign their Anti-Corruption Pledge will be posted. The Foundation will also periodically release the names of pledge-takers and those who ignore or refuse to sign the document.

Follow West on Twitter at @WestHoneycutt

West Honeycutt is a small business owner in Birmingham, Alabama. He has formerly worked for political consulting firms in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery, AL.