Thursday, April 02, 2009

Questions of general principle

That should be asked before Saturday's election.

Do you think that ridiculous hyperbole should be treated with ridicule? If a politician kills an important piece of reform legislation because it goes too far, do you think she has an obligation to help craft a more acceptable piece of legislation?

If the answer to either question is yes, I'll remind you of a bill that Julie Quinn killed last Summer:
But state Sen. Julie Quinn said counter letters are essential. She chairs the committee that killed the bill to ban counter letters.

It would have destroyed commerce in Louisiana over night,” Quinn said. “The legislation was so wide open, I don’t think there’s a single business that would stay here a minute if that was the case.”

Quinn said she’s not trying to open the door for corruption, but wants to make sure that if lawmakers go forward with any counter letter ban, it doesn’t affect private legal practices.

“We certainly shouldn’t go overboard and outlaw all private contracts,” Quinn said. “It’s the backbone of commerce in our country.”

Maybe Julie Quinn really believes that outlawing counter letters would destroy commerce letters and there's no need to introduce another bill. I suppose it really is possible that, despite Governor Awesome's awesome tax cuts and even awesomer ethics reform, nobody would choose to do business in Louisiana if we didn't have a mechanism for secrecy that no other state in the union has. But, I 'd like to hear her explain that. Otherwise, somebody should ask her why she's running for the Jefferson Parish council when she has unfinished business in Baton Rouge.

FWIW, I really don't care which Republican gets elected to the Jefferson Parish Council. If anything, I can think of at least one reason why I'd probably prefer her to Cynthia Lee-Sheng, but I hate exaggeration that goes far enough to border on dishonesty or insult our intelligence. Also, her commercials are...interesting. She implies that she's the straightforward, straight talker in the race, yet one of her commercials implies that The Gambit endorsed* her over Lee-Sheng. Gotta love straight talkers who exaggerate and mislead. She also says that the impression that she owed $265,000 in unpaid taxes was due to a complicated divorce settlement. I'll withhold judgment on that, but the complicated divorce settlement with a major hotel magnate/real estate developer raises questions about her reasons for killing the counter letter bill.

Again, I really don't care about a Jefferson Parish council race, but I do want to hear one of the candidates answer some serious questions about her part in killing a reform that would have brought greater transparency to business and politics throughout the state. I could say something about double standards, racial politics and the transparency issue, but I'm waiting for the city's politically active minister/businessmen to raise a stink over the failure to outlaw counter letters. I'll agree with them if they do.

*Can't figure out why she left out the enthusiastic endorsement of "We Saw That."

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